retail news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Central Pennsylvania Business Journal reports that in the wake of its cancelled merger with/acquisition by Albertsons, “Rite Aid Corp. is shaking up its board structure as it looks for a strategic move that will help it survive in the current competitive environment.

“CEO John Standley will no longer be board chairman as that role will go to current board member Bruce Bodaken,” the story says.

Bodaken is quoted as saying that “since terminating the transaction with Albertsons, we have engaged directly with many of our largest stockholders,” and believe that “fresh perspectives will be significant assets as we continue to oversee the development and implementation of our strategy to best position Rite Aid to create long-term value for stockholders … Over the coming year, the board will continue to seek stockholder input as we identify new candidates to further refresh the board and consider other corporate governance enhancements.”

If it were me, I’d worry less about “governance enhancements” and new board members who can create stockholder value, and maybe focus more on developing a stakeholder-focused company that operates better than mediocre stores. I’d try to figure out how to reinvent the 21st century drug store - not necessarily by imitating what CVS and Walgreen are doing, but by at the very least understanding that they are striving to carve out specific niches that they hope will resonate with the health-minded shopper. My experience with Rite Aid is that it is a place to go buy stuff when there’s no place else available.

• The Orlando Sentinel reports that “Publix Super Markets plans to expand its corporate headquarters in Lakeland and bring on 700 new employees … it plans to complete the expansion by 2027, bringing the workforce there to 2,100 employees.”

The story says that “the Publix corporate headquarters expansion will add about 190,000 square feet of space and bring the building to 510,000 square feet,” and that the company has estimated that this will cost it as much as $25 million.

• The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Giant Eagle “has agreed to buy Indiana-based Ricker Oil Co. Inc., the owner of 56 Ricker’s convenience stores and gas stations throughout central Indiana.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The story notes that Giant Eagle operates 410 stores, including 210 convenience stores/gas stations, in five states.
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