Pro Tip: The U.S. is typically thought of as being “over-stored” and that most consumers have access to a variety of retail locations in their communities. But, many shoppers don’t have easy access to retail outlets or multiple choices of retailers, especially those in essential retail sectors like grocery and drug store chains. Retailers focusing on these deserts are extremely important to offer equitable access to all consumers and serve communities outside of a normal trade area. Sometimes, stores of the future don’t need to focus on technology, but focus on reaching consumers and serving their immediate needs.
At the end of last year, Rite Aid Pharmacy opened two small-format pharmacies in underserved communities in rural Virginia in less than two months. The retailer plans to open another Rite Aid Pharmacy location in Scottsville, Virginia, soon. These stores mark the start of Rite Aid’s pilot program to improve access to pharmacy services in “pharmacy deserts."
The new Rite Aid locations are approximately 3,000 square feet — significantly smaller than its standard stores that average 11,000-15,000 square feet — and hold a full-service pharmacy along with a retail assortment of health and wellness products. The retailer currently operates more than 2,300 retail pharmacy locations across 17 states.
“The in-store design of these stores is similar to that of our larger traditional stores — just on a smaller scale,” Andre Persaud, Rite Aid’s chief retail officer, told Retail Leader Pro. “The stores will feature a pharmacy counter, consultation room, high-blood pressure monitors, and aisles of health and wellness merchandise.”
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