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Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD) is a drugstore chain in the United States and a Fortune 500 company headquartered in East Pennsboro Township, Pennsylvania, near Camp Hill. Rite Aid is the largest drugstore chain on the East Coast and the third largest drugstore chain in the U.S.
Rite Aid began in 1962 as a single store opened in Scranton, Pennsylvania called Thrif D Discount Center. After several years of growth, Rite Aid adopted its current name and debuted as a public company in 1968. Today, Rite Aid is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker RAD. Rite Aid reported total sales of USD $24.3 billion in fiscal year 2008. In 2008, its market capitalization dropped to under $500 million. As of 25 February 2010, the market capitalization of Rite Aid was about $1.3 billion. 
Its major competitors are CVS and Walgreens.
Alexander Grass founded the Rite Aid chain in Scranton, Pennsylvania, as Thrif D Discount Center. The first store opened in September 1962. Through acquisitions and new stores, Rite Aid quickly expanded into 5 northeast states by 1965. The chain was officially named Rite Aid Corporation in 1968 and made its debut on the American Stock Exchange. It moved to the New York Stock Exchange in 1970. In 2011, Rite Aid was ranked #100 on Fortune 500 Largest U.S. Corporations.
Growth and acquisitions
Just ten years after its first store opened, Rite Aid operated 267 locations in 10 states. It was named the third largest drugstore in the United States by 1981; shortly thereafter, 1983 marked a sales milestone of $1 billion. A 420-store acquisition along the east coast expanded Rite Aid's holdings beyond 2,000 locations. Among the companies acquired was Baltimore, Maryland's Read's Drug Store. On April 10, 1989, Peoples Drug's 114 unit Lane Drug of Ohio was purchased by Rite Aid. 
Rite Aid acquired twenty-four Hooks Drug stores from Revco in 1994, selling nine of those stores to Perry Drug Stores, a Michigan-based pharmacy chain. One year later, the 224-store Perry chain itself was acquired by Rite Aid. The 1,000-store West Coast chain Thrifty PayLess was later acquired in 1996. The acquisition of Thrifty PayLess included the Northwest-based Bi-Mart membership discount stores, which was sold off in 1998. Acquisitions of Harco, Inc. and K & B Inc. brought Rite Aid into the Gulf Coast area.
In the 1990s, Rite-Aid partnered with Carl Paladino's Ellicott Development Company to expand the company's presence in upstate New York.
Partnership with GNC
General Nutrition Companies (GNC) and Rite Aid formed a partnership in January 1999, bringing GNC mini-stores within the Rite Aid pharmacies. A partnership with drugstore.com in June 1999 allowed customers of Rite Aid to place medical prescription orders online for same-day, in-store pickup.
Rite Aid also had a major accounting scandal that led to the departure (and subsequent jail time) of several top ranking executives, including the CEO, Martin Grass, son of company founder Alexander Grass. Former Rite Aid vice chairman Franklin C. Brown is serving a 10-year sentence in a medium-security facility at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Raleigh, North Carolina. After serving six years in prison Grass was released on Jan. 18 2010.
His father Rite Aid founder Alexander Grass died of cancer August 27, 2009.
At the time, Rite Aid had just acquired Thrifty PayLess and was integrating those into the company. As a result, Leonard Green, who ran the investment firm that had sold those stores to Rite Aid, took control of the company and placed Mary Sammons from Fred Meyer in as CEO. Sammons instituted a number of reforms of Rite Aid's business and has returned the company to credibility.
July 2001, Rite Aid agreed to improve their pharmacy complaint process by implementing a new program to respond to consumer complaints.
On July 25, 2004, Rite Aid agreed to pay $7 million to settle allegations that the company had submitted false prescription claims to United States government health insurance programs.
In August, 2007. Rite Aid acquired approximately 1,850 Brooks/Eckerd Stores throughout the United States in hopes to improve their accessibility to a wider range of consumers. On December 21, 2007, The New York Times reported that Rite Aid had record breaking losses that year, despite the acquisition of the Brooks and Eckerd chains. The following fiscal quarter saw an increase in revenue but a sharp fall in net income as Rite Aid began the integration process. Rite Aid shares fell over 75% between September 2007 and September 2008, closing at a low of $0.98 on September 11, 2008. Rite Aid shares subsequently dropped to $0.20 on March 6, 2009, the all-time low as of 8 December 2011.
Scott Cole & Associates, APC filed a class action lawsuit against Rite Aid Corporation on behalf of its salaried California Store Managers. It was alleged that Rite Aid failed to pay overtime to these workers and denied them their meal and rest periods. In 2009, the action settled for $6.9 million. Scott Cole & Associates - Rite Aid Class Action
In June, 2010 John Standley was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer, with former CEO Mary Sammons retaining her position as Chairman; Ken Martindale, previously co-President of Pathmark, was named Chief Operating Officer.
Living More and Wellness
Beginning in March 2005, Rite Aid introduced Living More, a seniors' loyalty program; offering discounts on prescription drugs purchased with cash, and all other non-prescription items. Benefits are 10% discounts on all products on Tuesdays (20% on the first Tuesday of the month), as well as unadvertised sales on merchandise. This program is very similar to the former Revco program which was called "Senior Shoppers"; Rite Aid attempted to purchase Revco in 1996. This might be attributed to the fact that Revco's former Vice President of Marketing, James Mastrian, once held the same position at Rite Aid. The Living More program is being discontinued as of October 31, 2010. The wellness+ card is a new shopping rewards card that started nationwide on April 18, 2010. Membership is free, and benefits include free health and wellness benefits as well as shopping discounts and special prices.
Merger with Eckerd and Brooks
An Eckerd soon to become a Rite Aid pharmacy in Rochester, Pennsylvania, August 4, 2007.
On August 23, 2006, the Wall Street Journal announced that Rite Aid would be buying the Eckerd Pharmacy and Brooks Pharmacy chains (Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy) from the Quebec-based Jean Coutu Group for US$3.4 billion, and merging the two chains into one dominant pharmacy system. The company's shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger on January 18, 2007. After some store closures and the conversion of the two chains to Rite Aid is complete, the deal will make Rite Aid the dominating drug store retailer in the Eastern U.S., and secures its place as the third largest drug retailer nationwide (behind the faster growing Walgreens and CVS chains).
Similar to what CVS has gone through in the Chicago metropolitan area after its purchase of Albertson's drug store chains, the deal had left Rite Aid with some locations close to each other. (Only 23 store locations nationally were sold off to Walgreens, The Medicine Shoppe, or independent owners in order to meet federal regulations.) In many situations, especially Pennsylvania where both chains were dominant and had roots in those states (Rite Aid originated in Scranton, while Eckerd has roots in Western Pennsylvania via Erie for itself and Pittsburgh for converted Thrift Drug locations), there were now two Rite Aids as close as right next door to each other. However, in March 2008 some of these overlapping stores were closed, with the locations saying that they "moved" to a new address, when in fact they "moved" to the other Rite Aid that was nearby. Most of these stores that closed were pre-existing Rite Aids from before the Eckerd deal, since Eckerd had built newer, more modern locations with drive-thru pharmacies and larger space under ownership of both J. C. Penney and Jean Coutu Group, and the "moved to" sites were converted Eckerds. Employees at the closed stores were transferred to the nearby locations, so no layoffs were necessary.
Rite Aid had sold some locations to J. C. Penney's Thrift Drug chain in the mid-1990s shortly before J.C. Penney's acquisition of Eckerd, and had also sold all of their Massachusetts stores to Brooks in 1995, bringing some existing Eckerd and Brooks stores that were once Rite Aids full circle.
Because Eckerd was previously owned by J.C. Penney, Eckerd stores accepted J.C. Penney charge cards. Since the merger, all Rite Aids accept J.C. Penney charge cards.
Today, New York with 640 stores is home to the largest number of Rite Aids, followed by California and Pennsylvania with more than 550 stores each.
On January 4, 2008, Rite Aid Corporation announced that it will terminate its operation of the 28 Rite Aid stores in the Las Vegas, Nevada area and has signed an agreement to sell patient prescription files of the 27 stores in the Las Vegas metro market to Walgreens. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Rite Aid said it will continue to operate its remaining store in Nevada in Gardnerville, which is close to the border of California where Rite Aid has more than 600 stores. Rite Aid said Las Vegas was a non-core market for the company that has not been contributing to overall results. The company hasn't opened a new store in the Las Vegas area since 1999.
On February 5, 2009, Rite Aid Corporation announced that it will terminate its operations of 12 Rite Aid stores in the San Francisco, California and Eastern Idaho areas through a sale to Walgreens. 
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