Rite Aid drug store chain by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 13 2016

Rite Aid is a drugstore chain headquartered in East Pennsboro Township, Pennsylvania, near Camp Hill.

The Rite Aid Corporation will pay $500,000 to settle FTC charges that it deceptively advertised that its "Germ Defense" tablets and lozenges could prevent, treat, or reduce the severity of colds and the flu. Rite Aid promoted the products by promoting their similarity to Airborne products. Under the settlement, Rite Aid is
required to make refund forms available in its stores on October 1 2009 and consumers will have until December 31 2009 to submit refund requests for up to six packages of Germ Defense. The FTC has also charged Rite Aid's supplier, Improvita Health Products, Inc., with false and deceptive advertising on its Web site and in promotional materials supplied to Rite Aid. Germ Defense products contain vitamins A, C, and E; minerals, including zinc; electrolytes; amino acids; and a
proprietary blend of herbal extracts, including echinacea; and that a "PM" version promoted for nighttime use also included chamomile and valerian.

Rite Aid, the third-largest U.S. drugstore chain, said it still expects sales of $17.40 billion to $175 billion in fiscal 2007, matching a forecast it gave in June. The company also backed its expectation to post a loss of 7 cents to a profit of 2 cents. Rite Aid Corp. said in April 2007 it expected to complete its acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd drugstore chains from Canada's Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

Rite Aid Corp., the No. 3 U.S. drugstore chain will buy the Brooks and Eckerd drugstore chains from Canada's Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. for about $2.6 billion in cash and stock. The deal comes just two years after Jean Coutu purchased 1,550 U.S. Eckerd stores for $2.4 billion to become North America's fourth-largest drugstore chain. Jean Coutu struggled to integrate Eckerd's inventory and supply-chain systems and failed to respond quickly to new competitors in its markets. Eckerd lost market share amid intense competition in the drugstore market. The deal would give Rite Aid a total of 5,177 stores, making it the largest drugstore chain on the U.S. East Coast and a closer rival to market leaders Walgreen Co. and CVS Corp. Walgreen, the largest U.S. drugstore by revenue, has 5,400 stores, while CVS has about 6,100 stores.

Rite Aid and the new stores being acquired had combined fiscal 2006 revenues of about $26.8 billion. Rite Aid said it plans to convert the 1,521 Eckerd and 337 Brooks stores to the Rite Aid name, revamp store designs and convert the stores to its technology systems.

The deal would allow Rite Aid to expand into four new states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina and North Carolina. About 70 percent of the stores being acquired are located in states where Rite Aid already operates, which analysts said could raise some antitrust concerns.

Rite Aid has its work cut out as it tries to absorb the new stores and defend against quickly expanding rivals, analysts said.

See also Walmart stores.