Rite Aid Partners With Save-A-Lot

Rite Aid Corp. plans to add discount Save-A-Lot groceries to 10 of its stores in and around Greenville, S.C., as it tests out a partnership with Supervalu Inc., the Associated Press reported.

The stores are set to be remodeled by October, and renamed Save-A-Lot Food Stores/Rite Aid Pharmacy. Rite Aid will own and operate the stores. The Camp Hill, Pa., company said pharmacy operations at the stores won’t change, but it will cut back on its selection of health and beauty products.

Save-A-Lot is a unit of Supervalu, which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn. Its stores sell produce and meats and household goods. There are about 1,200 Save-A-Lot stores in 39 states. Rite Aid had 4,747 stores in 31 states as of Aug. 28.

Rite Aid’s rival Walgreen Co. is preparing to test out a similar program this fall when it plans to begin selling fruit and vegetables, soups, sandwiches and salads. The stores might also carry items like frozen pizzas and bag salads. Walgreen did not say when it will start testing the program or what markets it would choose.

Rite Aid described the deal as a licensing agreement, and part of a “segmentation” plan in which it is tailoring its business plans to different markets. The partnership is being tested in Greenville because its stores there are all medium-sized and because their pharmacy businesses are solid, but sales of items such as beauty products are not as strong.

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