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Rite Aid Joins Fight Against COVID-19 by Expanding Services

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Shares of Rite Aid Corporation (RAD - Free Report) jumped more than 8% during the trading session on Mar 18, following its announcement to expand its services to customers. This move comes when most companies are limiting store hours or shutting down operations across the United States and other countries in response to the outbreak. Rite Aid, one of the largest retail drugstores in the United States, has come forward to play its part in this crisis.

Notably, the company will provide a home delivery service to customers with an eligible prescription. Also, the customers will have the benefit of zero delivery fees. 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 pharmacist. 

Apart from this, it will also offer pick-up services for prescriptions and over-the-counter products and customers can use the drive-through option available at more than 50% of its retail locations. Moreover, the company will continue to operate its online business — 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 its website.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 scenario, the company is partnering 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. 

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

Speaking of store hours, rival Walgreens (WBA - Free Report) has recently adjusted store timings, post which most of its stores will now be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays as well as weekends until any further notice. Other essential stores, which have revised store0020hours in response to this outbreak, include Target (TGT - Free Report) and Dollar General (DG - Free Report) . Notably, Target will close by 9 p.m. each day, with one hour dedicated to the elderly people to shop. According to media reports, Dollar General will shut down an hour earlier, with the first opening hour being reserved for senior citizens.  

Further, Rite Aid employees have been provided with care kits as safety measures. It has also set up a separate guideline for this pandemic, wherein associates will receive compensation if infected or quarantined. Meanwhile, Rite Aid doesn’t anticipate any near-term supply-chain impact from the pandemic. 

The company had earlier informed that it is on track with turnaround initiatives, including lowering leverage ratio, increasing focus on innovation and enhancing its technological platform. Moreover, it remains focused on doubling its pharmacy business. 

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