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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 18th, 2021, 6:53 am
by Super S
Alpha8472 wrote: September 17th, 2021, 9:36 pm Rite Aid realizes that customers are loyal to trusted local brand names. When Thrifty signs went up on remodeled Rite Aid stores in Northern California, the signs were so prominent that it looked like the store was a Thrifty Pharmacy with a Rite Aid logo in the middle.

Customers were commenting on how they stopped in just to see if Thrifty had returned. It really generated more business after the remodel. Rite Aid should bring back more regional brands and see if their sales improve.
Rite Aid is taking a different approach with Bartell. I remember when they took over PayLess. Among other things, they implemented a loyalty card right away (this was a time when even Safeway had no card yet) and had a reputation at first of screwing up prescriptions, not to mention scaling merchandise way back. Rite Aid struggled around here for a long time.

Not so sure bringing back regional brands like PayLess would do much now. It's been nearly 25 years. The people who remembered the big PayLess as well as Thrifty stores would expect things Rite Aid got rid of, such as sporting goods, music, bigger electronics departments, among other things. Rite Aid does still have some of the big stores but has been steadily consolidating into smaller spaces.

Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 18th, 2021, 9:07 am
by storewanderer
Super S wrote: September 18th, 2021, 6:53 am
Rite Aid is taking a different approach with Bartell. I remember when they took over PayLess. Among other things, they implemented a loyalty card right away (this was a time when even Safeway had no card yet) and had a reputation at first of screwing up prescriptions, not to mention scaling merchandise way back. Rite Aid struggled around here for a long time.

Not so sure bringing back regional brands like PayLess would do much now. It's been nearly 25 years. The people who remembered the big PayLess as well as Thrifty stores would expect things Rite Aid got rid of, such as sporting goods, music, bigger electronics departments, among other things. Rite Aid does still have some of the big stores but has been steadily consolidating into smaller spaces.
I think the ship has sailed with regards to the regional brands at this point. Payless is long gone- these stores are not the same store as Payless was anyway, missing all of that general merchandise. The stores do still remind me more of Thrifty in terms of their size and what they are offering... but the Thrifty name is still there anyway especially in CA with the ice cream, it never went away in the first place.

It could be Bartell is handled the way Longs has been handled in HI (at this point it is a carbon copy of CVS with a lot of special merchandise sourced from local vendors).

The gray loyalty card implementation they did in the 90's was a test market and was only in a few metro areas and a couple were in the Pacific Northwest. That loyalty card in the 90's was never implemented in CA but it did work there for 10% off the store brand items if you had one from one of the test markets.

Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 18th, 2021, 1:30 pm
by babs
storewanderer wrote: September 18th, 2021, 9:07 am
Super S wrote: September 18th, 2021, 6:53 am
Rite Aid is taking a different approach with Bartell. I remember when they took over PayLess. Among other things, they implemented a loyalty card right away (this was a time when even Safeway had no card yet) and had a reputation at first of screwing up prescriptions, not to mention scaling merchandise way back. Rite Aid struggled around here for a long time.

Not so sure bringing back regional brands like PayLess would do much now. It's been nearly 25 years. The people who remembered the big PayLess as well as Thrifty stores would expect things Rite Aid got rid of, such as sporting goods, music, bigger electronics departments, among other things. Rite Aid does still have some of the big stores but has been steadily consolidating into smaller spaces.
I think the ship has sailed with regards to the regional brands at this point. Payless is long gone- these stores are not the same store as Payless was anyway, missing all of that general merchandise. The stores do still remind me more of Thrifty in terms of their size and what they are offering... but the Thrifty name is still there anyway especially in CA with the ice cream, it never went away in the first place.

It could be Bartell is handled the way Longs has been handled in HI (at this point it is a carbon copy of CVS with a lot of special merchandise sourced from local vendors).

The gray loyalty card implementation they did in the 90's was a test market and was only in a few metro areas and a couple were in the Pacific Northwest. That loyalty card in the 90's was never implemented in CA but it did work there for 10% off the store brand items if you had one from one of the test markets.
The Thrifty sign is there to indicate an ice cream counter. It's not a nostalgic throwback. They view the ice cream counter as a differentiator.

Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 22nd, 2022, 1:21 pm
by SamSpade
Seattle Times printed a "reflection" on the merger, almost 2 years in.
Truly sounds like Rite Aid did a terrible job integrating their pharmacy system with the Bartell records, which sent a lot of people away.
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/n ... d-reviews/

Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 22nd, 2022, 5:48 pm
by norcalriteaidclerk
Now,their totes have found their way into the normal RAD supply chain network.Though at least as late as the 2010's it has not been uncommon to receive merchandise in totes saying property of Payless Drug Stores NW, Thrifty Payless,and/or pay-n-save.One reason why I haven't really seen totes saying 'property of Thrifty Drug and discount Stores' all these years is that the NorCal stores were previously serviced from their Sparks warehouse which likely closed when they exited Nevada (prior to merging with Payless).Image

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Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 22nd, 2022, 10:30 pm
by storewanderer
SamSpade wrote: September 22nd, 2022, 1:21 pm Seattle Times printed a "reflection" on the merger, almost 2 years in.
Truly sounds like Rite Aid did a terrible job integrating their pharmacy system with the Bartell records, which sent a lot of people away.
https://www.seattletimes.com/business/n ... d-reviews/
The Pharmacy integration was botched so badly I don't know what they should have done. Maybe put the brakes on it after doing the first few stores (it was obvious pretty quickly how botched it was)... but no, they didn't do that, they sailed along full speed ahead.

I do have to wonder though, how many of these problems, would have happened had Bartell continued as it was anyway. The entire pharmacy industry is not operating the way it did a couple years ago. The COVID vaccine program really stretched a lot of pharmacies thin and the after effect of that mess has been a ton of resignations, customers that are more impatient than ever, and a total disconnect between corporate offices and the pharmacies for various chains.

Just last night I noticed the local 24 hour CVS no longer has a 24 hour pharmacy "until further notice" and another CVS near that had a sign up that their pharmacy is "Closed Saturday and Sunday until further notice." Things are not getting better in pharmacies, they seem to be getting even worse.

I read the comment thread on the Bartell Article and couldn't help but notice multiple people posting how great CVS was and how they'd moved their business to CVS due to Rite Aid destroying Bartell. It was a common theme in multiple comments. I took a look at some Google Reviews for these CVS around Seattle. The reviews are terrible, and many people making the exact same complaints about CVS, that people are making in the Bartell article about Bartell (long pharmacy waits, empty shelves, poor service, locked shelves). I am not really wanting to discredit anyone's observations but everyone in the Bartell article who is commenting praises on CVS is making it out as if CVS is some kind of tip top operation; that is not consistent with my experience by any stretch and doesn't seem consistent with the reviews of the Seattle CVS units on Google either.
CVS 2035 4th St Google Score 2.5/5
CVS 2438 32nd Ave Google Score 4.2/5 (low review count, place has been open 4+ years but must do almost no volume)
CVS 531 Queen Anne Ave Google Score 3.7/5
CVS 503 Westlake Google Score 1.3/5 (wow........)
CVS 2100 N. 45th Google Score 2.6/5
CVS Target 1401 2nd Google Score 3.1/5
CVS Target 1448 NW Market Google Score 3.3/5 (low review count..)

I thought maybe these folks were dealing with CVS in Seattle Suburbs so I took a look at those. Still hardly any CVS Stores in the suburbs (aside from Target units):
CVS Burien, WA Google Score 2.3/5
CVS Bellevue, WA Google Score 2.2/5

Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 23rd, 2022, 1:32 pm
by Alpha8472
CVS corporate probably has employees that go on the internet and post comments praising CVS. It is all designed to steer customers to try CVS. Don't trust the lies.

Re: Rite Aid Buys Bartell Drugs

Posted: September 24th, 2022, 1:13 pm
by storewanderer
Alpha8472 wrote: September 23rd, 2022, 1:32 pm CVS corporate probably has employees that go on the internet and post comments praising CVS. It is all designed to steer customers to try CVS. Don't trust the lies.
CVS runs such a lousy operation where it seems like literally nobody cares, the thought of that happening never crossed my mind.

I could see some companies with more of a "cheerleader" culture and attempting to portray such image do this sort of thing, but CVS?