Inside This Issue - News
Martindale becomes Rite Aid president
July 8th, 2013
CAMP HILL, Pa. – Ken Martindale, who has been a proponent of change and innovation at Rite Aid Corp., has been named the company’s president.
The 53-year-old Martindale had been senior executive vice president and, since 2010, chief operating officer, a post he retains. He continues to report to Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley, who previously held the president's title.
As COO, Martindale played “a significant role in helping the company improve its overall performance and return to profitability,” said Standley. “Ken’s appointment as president and chief operating officer is an opportunity for Rite Aid to further leverage his exceptional leadership skills, broad operating experience and strategic capabilities as we continue to focus on successfully growing our business.”
As COO, Martindale instilled in Rite Aid’s executive team a confidence to try new things and to learn from those that don’t pan out. The result has been a thriving loyalty program (wellness+), a cutting-edge store concept (the “wellness store”), a robust pharmacy department with expanded services, creative front-end merchandising, a bevy of new product offerings, a stronger digital presence and, in turn, a more satisfied and engaged customer.
Martindale paved the way for those efforts to come to fruition by getting his executive team, Rite Aid associates and suppliers to embrace the notion of “wellness empowerment” — helping today’s informed consumers take a more active role in their health.
Speaking to attendees at the grand opening of a wellness store in Williamsville, N.Y., in May, he summed up what the concept means for Rite Aid and its customers: “Now we’re in an even better position to deliver on our mission of improving the health and wellness of the communities that we live and work in through engaging experiences that provide our customers the best products, services and advice to meet their unique needs.”
Rite Aid introduced the second iteration of the wellness store, dubbed “genuine well-being,” last fall. But Martindale said to “stay tuned” for more changes to the concept, which he described as “constantly evolving.”
“The big challenge to all of the merchants is that the stores in six months can’t look like the ones today,” he said in an interview at the Williamsville store. “A lot of new things are coming, and we’ll keep changing as we go. We have to keep meeting the changing needs of the customer.”
Martindale is a retail veteran with more than 35 years of diverse operations, marketing and merchandising experience. Before joining Rite Aid as senior executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and logistics in December 2008, he was copresident of, and chief merchandising and marketing officer for, Pathmark Stores Inc., a $4 billion regional supermarket chain with a strong pharmacy business. He worked there until December 2007, when the company was sold to A&P.
He started his retail career in 1975 with Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, a West Coast food and drug chain, where he rose from a district manager in store operations to senior vice president of marketing and senior vice president of sales and merchandising. In January 1998 he joined Fred Meyer Inc., a $15 billion food, drug and general merchandise retailer, after it bought Smith’s. He served as executive vice president of sales and procurement for Fred Meyer until September 1999, after the company’s merger with Kroger Co.
Martindale also founded and operated Orchard Street Inc., a food retailer in Salt Lake City; consulted for national and regional food retailers on category management, marketing and strategic planning; and served as president, chief executive officer and chairman of Intersource Inc., a software company designed to help food and drug retail, wholesale and manufacturing clients with procurement.