Rite Aid Pharmacy can blame itself for perpetually lagging behind drugstore rivals like CVS and Walgreens. A new report claims the chain has trouble keeping products listed in sales ads nearly 80 per cent of the time. In Not as Advertised: Out-of-Stock Sale Items and Rite Aid’s Bid for Customer Loyalty, a conglomerate of drugstore unions blasts the pharmacy’s archaic manual stocking system.
Rite Aid offers customers a loyalty card for discounts on sale items, usually marked by a bright yellow sticker. When products go out of stock, workers manually slap blue stickers on in their place along with the date a new order is placed – some of which were found to be more than six months old.
The group paid 1,110 visits to about 220 of the chain’s locations across the country (five visits per store) and found 40 per cent of stores had at least one sale item missing every time.
70 per cent lacked sale items in four out of every five visits. New York City establishments were particularly found to be lacking, with 20 per cent of items absent from shelves.
Retail loyalty systems are one of the most effective ways to save, but if customers are confronted by empty shelves chances are they’ll either walk out with a pricier item or search for lower prices elsewhere.
In the chain’s defence, spokeswoman Susan Henderson told Time Money Land they weren’t contacted before the study was conducted: “While we are disappointed to hear of any out of stock situations, it is difficult for us to accurately assess and comment on these findings,” she said.
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