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Rite Aid increases focus on electronics

  • Rite Aid (RAD +1.8%) says it will bolster its lineup of electronics in advance of the back-to-school shopping season.
  • The retail chain plans to add tablets, notebooks, and more electronics accessories.
  • The NRF estimates the average U.S. family will spend $669 during the back-to-school season.
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Comments (12)
  • Jbgoose
    , contributor
    Comments (1954) | Send Message
     
    About time .... With such inventory easily found dirt cheap as the cycle goes ... One use for antiquated photo department sq ft. They should add only quality names, small TV's, gaming, service, travel, a cell phone section while at it. Just make part of the store Radio Shack.

     

    Yet/ will they hire experts to drive sales? Service plans (cha Ching!!) Or will they be selling 'cheap' dust collecting models nobody going to college can even use? Mostly all schools use Apple and supply them for free or discounted. Geez, with one year tuition at one of the 20 plus colleges near us with costs hovering from 25- 50k a year about time. Every year the parents come and stock the kids up at least 2/3 times. The drugstore is always a stop. If strategically stocked this would boost SSS if selecting the right, mixed local pop and university student stores.

     

    Cross fingers they do not put sales pressure on the current staff. They need to stock, clean, ring the register and do backflips all at once as is, let alone demonstrate a tablet. I am being hard on RAD - smart move long overdue.
    30 Jul 2014, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • popeye305
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    Jbgoose

     

    Good points!! I am as concerned as you are.

     

    The last Wellness Ambassador I met last month in Atlantic City, N.J. (not local to me by the way), a bubbly and dedicated employee so it seemed was stocking the beauty dept. shelves rather than walking the store and mingling with our customers to ask if she could help them with something. Where is the training, where are the words we hear from senior management being put into action? At least on the role of the Wellness Ambassador.
    30 Jul 2014, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Jbgoose
    , contributor
    Comments (1954) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for getting the point. We all know the outcome, but at least someone is making new inventory moves. That's good... If done right which it will not be. It's like, Rite Aid is now stocking bubble gum ! Oh, joy.
    30 Jul 2014, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • flynnskinc1
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
     
    Good point Popeye. I have been more observant of the CS (or lack of)at my local RAs since my last comments to you. What are your expectations for tomorrow's July sales reports? These last few days have been brutal!
    30 Jul 2014, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • popeye305
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    Jbgoose

     

    My sentiments exactly. I like senior management's experimentation with bringing in new products. But will they get easy one on one help and demonstrations like they would get at Best Buy, to name just one. Again, it is senior management's lack of expertise in customer service, so far, that may make execution very, very problematic, and more expensive inventory sitting on the shelves not moving could cause a hit to the bottom line. Let's hope the company is not pennywise pound foolish again and starts to understand that especially here dedicated employees in electronics, and not overloading existing personnel is the way to go.
    30 Jul 2014, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • alphaRAJU
    , contributor
    Comments (473) | Send Message
     
    I wish they had gone towards emergency healthcare.
    30 Jul 2014, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Jbgoose
    , contributor
    Comments (1954) | Send Message
     
    Exactly !
    30 Jul 2014, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • popeye305
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    I second that "exactly". Unless Rite Aid dedicates staff "knowledgeable and trained" on all aspects of electronics (hardly now paying out minimum wages), then they will never compete with Best Buy or others where electronics is their bread and butter. Rite Aid's bread and better is prescriptions and what they call "wellness". Emergency healthcare fits a real need with over 4500 Rite Aid stores, nearby to most of these customers. Should there not be dedicated training, and dare I say the time to spend with a customer, why would you want to go to Rite Aid for electronics? So, while thinking out of the box with new experimental products is very interesting, I really worry about execution here.
    30 Jul 2014, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • U2A Ventures
    , contributor
    Comments (270) | Send Message
     
    Rite Aid Shack?
    30 Jul 2014, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • Jbgoose
    , contributor
    Comments (1954) | Send Message
     
    U2/ Nice one... The logo would be great. Let's buy the the shack!!

     

    Popeye/ I'm just being fun cause we know it's just a pr announcement for back to school. Who in their right mind would associate them with electronics, anyway?? I bought my first 10 buck blender, 2 box fans, a small TV and other such items for my first apt in LA next to a crack hotel from am awesome WAG store.... They had great inventory, a mini Target really. No expectations for RAD with this other than IF done right it could increase certain SSS and being hopeful, if they will use wellness customer data to stock the correct stores with 'electronics' - it could be an example for other build outs... The clinics - how many do you feel they CAN roll out at a time? Let's hope for the best... I foresee a nightmare if they fail at this clinic deal.
    30 Jul 2014, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • popeye305
    , contributor
    Comments (569) | Send Message
     
    Jbgoose

     

    I really would like this to work, because I always admire ideas of thinking out of the box. However, this reminds me of the same very short-lived experiment using Sav-a-Lot Corp. to stock fresh meat and produce in stores in a particular small area. While the specific reasons for abandoning this experiment in 6-12 months was never divulged, other than it wasn't selling well presumably, this was instituted one could imagine for the after work crowd on the way home to pick something up QUICK as a matter of convenience so as to not negotiate a time consuming Kroger type big box supermarket. Given the spotty service, possibly long lines with maybe only one register open (to save on expense) and painfully slow back-up coming to the rescue, perhaps in the end there was nothing very convenient AND FAST about it. The execution did not match the idea, possibly, although I can not know for sure. Although I had visited stores in the experimental area, not at that particular time.

     

    So, I guess we wait and see on the electronics although I suspect the small numbers generated here will be buried in the overall numbers, and unless analysts ask the question during a conference call, we may never know what the result here was, at least until the next Annual Meeting, and even then sometimes you do not get straight answers even there (boy do I know).
    30 Jul 2014, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • Jbgoose
    , contributor
    Comments (1954) | Send Message
     
    Yeh, that wouldn't seem to be a proper cross sell. The cost of simply storing and handling the meat - pre- prepared offerings would have been interesting, shipped in from a vendor. Yet even then, one has the smell of foods permeating the air at a drugstore which would only increase Tums or anti nausea :)

     

    I did notice about six months ago electronics were being emptied and items such as flash drives and fast cell chargers were finally being promoted better. Well, SanDisk and one other brand. It overall very well could help targeted SSS - agree with you on overall impact unless they did bring in the Shack, what's another few Billion in debt... That's a joke.

     

    On another note; It would make more sense to me if they had to raise and redirected capital to launch redi clinics fast. The in pharmacy model is already leapfrogged by doctor partnerships and numerous specialized practices, some open 24/7 and they also have pharmacies. Just like an eye doc sells glasses. Another high margin biz that RAD could experiment with.
    31 Jul 2014, 10:01 AM Reply Like
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