If You Shop at Rite Aid, Prepare for This Major Change at 2,400 Stores

·4 min read

Rite Aid is one of the major drugstore chains in the U.S., but it's tough to compete with the two biggest giants, Walgreens and CVS. Each company is constantly trying to set itself apart, and Rite Aid has been working hard to better serve its customers and ideally pull some of the competition away. With that in mind, it's not surprising that Rite Aid just announced a major change at its more than 2,400 locations. Read on to find out what this drugstore chain is bringing to stores by the end of this year.

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Rite Aid started revamping itself in 2020.

Rite Aid will not settle for coming in third behind Walgreens and CVS. Back in 2020, the drugstore company revealed that it was working on the "store of the future," PennLive reported at the time. Rite Aid unveiled a new logo and confirmed that it would be kickstarting a number of changes over the next few years, including an overhaul in merchandise, workflow adjustments, and a re-engineering of its pharmacy team. The entire revamp was based on the idea that its "existing brand is outdated," Rite Aid CEO Heyward Donigan said.

Now it's clear that Rite Aid's commitment to change hasn't let up, as the chain just confirmed a new change to all of its stores in 2022.

The company is making an upgrade at all locations.

Rite Aid is getting ready to make an adjustment at its stores across the U.S. this year. On July 20, the drugstore company released its fourth annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report, providing updates and detailing plans for how the chain is working towards ESG priorities and goals. According to the report, Rite Aid is changing something at its over 2,400 stores: its eggs. By the end of 2022, the company said it "plans to source 100 percent cage-free eggs in all locations."

This goal of changing the eggs it's selling to cage-free only "represents the company's commitment to responsible sourcing and advancing sustainable and ethical practices," Rite Aid said in its report.

Rite Aid is accelerating plans to change the eggs it sells.

The chain first announced that it had "made a commitment to provide 100 percent cage-free eggs" at its stores in 2016. At the time, Rite Aid said that its goal to complete the rollout of this initiative was by the year 2025. But now, the company has "accelerated plans" to shorten that timeline by three years to the end of 2022. Earlier this year, CVS and Walgreens also both announced plans to have cage-free egg selections at their stores within the same timeline.

"We commend Rite Aid for expediting its cage-free timeline to reduce the suffering of egg-laying hens in its supply chains," Vicky Bond, president of the Humane League, an international nonprofit organization working to end abuse of animals raised for food, said in a statement, per Drug Store News. "We've seen a trend among socially responsible companies like Rite-Aid to stop sourcing eggs from hens kept in cruel battery cages and to speed up the implementation of their cage-free policies."

This is not the only environmental and social change Rite Aid has made recently.

Rite Aid's ESG objectives don't just center around eggs, however. According to its report, 42 percent of its stores had transitioned to LED lighting by the end of 2021, putting the company "on track to complete a goal of installed LED lighting at 100 percent of its stores by 2035." Rite Aid also saved more than 76,000 tons of recyclable material from ending up in landfills last year through recycling programs.

"As a purpose-driven healthcare organization, we recognize the need to do our part in minimizing our environmental footprint and making a positive impact through our associates in the communities we serve," Paul Gilbert, chief legal officer overseeing ESG efforts at Rite Aid, said in a statement. "Our advancement thus far is exciting, and we look forward to further progress in the months and years ahead."