Inside This Issue - News
Standley moves quickly to fill COO’s post at Rite Aid
July 19th, 2010
CAMP HILL, Pa. – A day after Rite Aid Corp. chief operating officer John Standley took the reins as the drug chain’s president and chief executive officer, the company named senior executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and logistics Ken Martindale as its new chief operating officer.
In his new position, the 50-year-old Martindale will be responsible for Rite Aid’s efforts in store operations, category management, marketing, merchandising and supply chain.
Martindale, who joined Rite Aid in December 2008, has worked in retail for more than three decades. Before coming to the company, he was copresident, chief merchandising and marketing officer at supermarket chain Pathmark Stores Inc., now part of A&P.
“In a very short time, Ken has had a significant impact on a number of the initiatives we’re implementing to improve our performance and grow profitable sales,” Standley comments, citing Martindale’s role in the recent launch of Rite Aid’s wellness+ customer loyalty program, the revamping and expansion of the chain’s private brand program, and its segmentation strategies for low-volume stores as among his key contributions.
“Add to that his firsthand experience in store operations during his extensive retail career, and Rite Aid has a very talented and accomplished new chief operating officer,” Standley notes.
Standley took over the chief executive spot from Mary Sammons at Rite Aid’s annual shareholders meeting, which was held on June 23. Sammons, who was the drug chain’s chief executive since 2003, will continue to serve as Rite Aid’s chairman for the next two years.
Standley assumes the reins at Rite Aid at a difficult time for the nation’s No. 3 drug chain. The company continues to struggle financially — it reported a $73.7 million loss in the quarter that ended May 29, down from a $98.4 million loss in the prior year’s quarter — and it continues to face fierce competition from other drug chains, discounters and supermarkets that have stepped up their efforts in pharmacy.
During the most recent quarter, sales at Rite Aid stores open at least a year fell 1%, while pharmacy sales in those stores dipped 0.9%.
Executives say that they expect the company to lose between $355 million and $570 million this year and trim its store count from 4,767 at the end of June to about 4,700 by year’s end.