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Rite Aid Continues Hiring to Support Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Zacks Equity Research
·4 mins read

Rite Aid Corporation RAD is undertaking hiring plans to overcome the challenging situation spurred by the coronavirus outbreak. The company will hire 5,000 full-time and part-time associates across the United States to serve customers better. This move will offer additional support to provide medications, essential supplies and COVID-19 related information through stores and distribution centers. 

Apart from this, management has come up with a Hero program to acknowledge the efforts made by its employees. The program offers hourly associates a Hero pay hike of $2 per hour starting Mar 15, which will remain valid till May 2. Moreover, the company has provided a Hero bonus of $1,000 to current retail store members, including pharmacists, distribution center management and RediClinic professional associates. Also, the program includes a discount of 35% effective Mar 24 until the end of April. 

RediClinic, which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Rite Aid, has launched RediClinic@Home for the convenience of customers. This is a telehealth service, wherein patients can use video chat to contact RediClinic clinicians. Customers can avail this option on a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. The facility, which comes with online check in and registration, is currently available in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Texas for a fee of $49 per visit. Also, the company accepts most of the insurance plans. For more details, interested customers can visit www.RediClinic.com. 

In sync with its objective to safeguard employees, Rite Aid has introduced specific guidelines related to leaves due to the ongoing pandemic. As part of the guidelines, the company’s new pandemic pay policy offers compensation to an employee who has been either diagnosed with the virus or quarantined. Internally, it is implementing certain protocols such as usage of masks and gloves to ensure the safety of associates and customers. Keeping in these lines, it is working toward installing Plexiglas shields at pharmacies and front-end counters. Additionally, the company is following social distancing rules by marking floor areas in front of the pharmacy and front-end counters with tape to maintain a 6-foot separation and monitor the number of customers entering stores at a given time.

Similar to other retailers, such as Target TGT, Dollar General DG and Walmart WMT, the company is focusing on elderly customers who are more prone to getting infected by this virus. Hence, one hour of shopping time (9-10 a.m.) has been reserved for customers aged 60 or above. Moreover, members of the wellness+ rewards program aged above 65 will be eligible for a 30% discount every Wednesday through April.

Prior to this, the company noted that it will continue providing free home delivery services to customers with an eligible prescription. However, it clarified that products such as refrigerated medications and controlled substances will not be eligible for delivery. For more details, customers can contact their nearest Rite Aid pharmacists. Also, pick-up services for prescriptions and over-the-counter products are available and customers can use the drive-through option available at more than 50% of the company’s retail locations. Moreover, the company will continue to operate its online business — RiteAid.com. Customers who belong to the Rite Aid wellness+ reward program will also be able to access healthcare professionals and pharmacists at 1-800-Rite Aid or via live chat on the website.

Further, Rite Aid has partnered with other pharmacy-benefit organizations and local physicians to ensure that customers can avail the required medication along with hand sanitizers, cleansers and rubbing alcohol. It is also encouraging customers to talk to their pharmacists about 90-day refills, early refill authorizations and prescription delivery. Also, this drugstore chain has kept its stores open with increased staff in order to fulfill delivery orders faster. It has also imposed limits on in-store and online purchases of certain items so that these products can reach the maximum number of people in need.The company had earlier informed that it doesn’t anticipate any near-term supply-chain impact from the pandemic.

In the past three months, shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have rallied 31.4% against the industry’s decline of 19.7%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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