Rite Aid started in 1962 in Scranton, Pennsylvania by Alexander Grass. The first store was called Thrif D Discount Center.
By 1965, the chain had expanded into 5 states, mostly through acquisitions. By 1972, the chain had over 270 stores in 10 states and in 1981 it became the 3rd largest drugstore chain in the US.
Acquisitions in the 80s and 90s included Gray Drugs in 1987, Read’s Drug Stores in the Baltimore area and 114 stores from Lane Drug of Ohio. Hooks Drug Stores were acquired from Revco in 1994, Perry Drug Stores of Michigan were purchased in 1995 and Thrifty Payless in 1996.
Rite Aid currently has over 4700 locations and is still the 3rd largest drug store behind CVS and Walgreens.
In March 2019, the company cut more than 400 corporate and administrative jobs, trying to break even, even though the company sold 2,000 locations and distribution centers to Walgreens.
Both Walgreens and Rite Aid pulled Johnson’s baby powder off their shelves in October 2019 following a recall due to contamination with asbestos.
The former VP of advertising for Rite Aid was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison in October 2019 for conducting a $5 million kickback scheme.
The Rite Aid corporate office is located in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.