At long last, Kent Rite Aid pharmacy opens

After a year of construction and nearly a year of sitting unused, the Rite Aid at the corner of Meeker Street and Washington Avenue finally opened Sept. 11.

Rite Aid pharmacy on Meeker and Washington celebrated its grand opening Thursday.  Regional Pharmacy Vice President Germain Robottom

Rite Aid pharmacy on Meeker and Washington celebrated its grand opening Thursday. Regional Pharmacy Vice President Germain Robottom

After a year of construction and nearly a year of sitting unused, the Rite Aid at the corner of Meeker Street and Washington Avenue finally opened Sept. 11.

“It may have taken a little bit of time to get here, but we think it is worth it,” Rite Aid spokesperson Ashley Flower said Sept. 5 in a phone interview.

The delay in opening was caused by a driveway dispute with the city over a left turn lane on northbound Washington Avenue. City officials at first denied the request because of feared backups. The two parties worked together a compromise.

As a result, drivers will have to access the Meeker Square Shopping Center from either Meeker Street or from a right-in, right-out driveway on southbound Washington Avenue.

But with the wait over, shoppers in the area had their first look at the new, 16,000-square-foot store last week, one of the first to feature Rite Aid's new “Customer World” store design.

“We think the store speaks for itself,” Flower said, adding the new design is based on customer feedback and work with focus groups to see what shoppers want from their drug-store experience. “Even the paint and colors are new.”

Flower said the main feature of the new design is a direct path to the pharmacy. Flower said upon walking into the store, customers will have a quick view and easy access to what is, after all, the primary focus of the business.

“Our core business is pharmacy,” Flower said.

A private consultation room is also available to allow conversation with the store's professional on any topic.

“We absolutely want our patients to feel comfortable talking to the pharmacist,” Flower said.

Also available in the store is a new GNC vitamin store, part of a partnership with the nutritional products retailer, and an emphasis on the digital photo section, which allows customers to process and print their own photos, as well order gifts featuring their images such as mugs or mousepads.

Also part of the new store is wider aisles and a “clutter-free policy” to remove displays and other potential nuisances that may get in the way of shoppers.

Shelving heights have also been changed to make them more accessible and Flower said signage is now more noticeable and easier to read.

Brian Beckley can be reached at 253-437-6012 or bbeckley@kentnews.us.

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The new Rite Aid is located at 105 Washington Ave. N. in Kent.

Hours of the new store are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Pharmacy hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Rite Aid is also planning free blood pressure screenings all day Sept. 23 to 25, a free vitamin profile sept. 24 and a health and wellness assessment Sept. 25.


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