Retail News Breaks
Rite Aid unveils Simplify in private-brand remake
June 30th, 2010
CAMP HILL, Pa. – As part of a rebuilt private-label program, Rite Aid Corp. is introducing a new "price fighter" private brand called Simplify in its nearly 4,800 stores nationwide.
The drug store chain said Wednesday Simplify products now in stores include two-ply paper towels, one- and two-ply bath tissue, strawberry- and berry-flavored drinks, and bottled water.
Value shoppers can watch short informational videos about Simplify paper towels and bath tissue on Rite Aid's Video Values online savings program site at www.riteaid.com, earning $1-off coupons.
Plans call for more household items, food storage bags, trash bags, and soda and snack foods to be added to the Simplify line later this year, according to Rite Aid.
"Customers continue to look for the best price for the items they need, and that’s exactly what they are getting with Simplify, our first-ever value line," Kathy Horton, senior director of Rite Aid brands, said in a statement. "Our new price-fighter private brand offers customers quality products at prices they'll love."
Rite Aid said Simplify is part of its plan to revamp its entire private-brand program "with a new look, new brands and additional offerings to meet the needs of today's value-driven consumer."
The retailer launched a private-brand baby care line, called Tugaboos, in late May with diapers as the initial offering and plans to add such items as baby creams, lotions and wipes. In February, Rite Aid expanded its Rx Suncare line that was launched in 2009. And about a month after the debut of Rx Suncare, the retailer rolled out its M5 Magnum five-blade shaving system, which it said is designed to offer men a comparable shave to the leading brands but costs 30% less.
John Standley, who took the reins as chief executive officer last week, said in a conference call with analysts on Rite Aid's first-quarter results that the company has "made excellent progress" on its strategic initiatives, including private label.
Deutsche Bank Securities analyst Bill Dreher wrote in a research note last week that Rite Aid expects to have about 1,000 of its private-label products switched to the new brand scheme by the end of the year.
He stated that the new architecture includes six brands: Rite Aid Pharmacy for health products, Renewal for beauty, Pantry for food and select consumables, Home for household goods, Tugaboos for baby, and Simplify for price-sensitive shoppers. The retailer's private-label penetration improved in the first quarter to 15.4% of front-end sales from 14.9% a year earlier, he noted.
"Rite Aid is launching initiatives to help deliver value to today's more value-conscious
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consumer," Dreher said in his report. "The recent launch of the wellness+ loyalty card and expanded private-label offering (with marketing/promotional support) should help build customer loyalty and will provide the company with very useful consumer information that can be used to help target marketing dollars. Initiatives like the loyalty card and the enhanced private-brand offering should help boost traffic and sales in the front end."