Rite Aid opens a new style of company HQ in Philly

The facility is designed to deal with the new work-from-home economy while providing support to workers from IT services to videoconferencing.

Rite Aid's new building at the Navy Yard. (Tom MacDonald / WHYY)

Rite Aid's new building at the Navy Yard. (Tom MacDonald / WHYY)

Rite Aid has opened a new type of corporate headquarters at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. Called a Collaboration Center, company CEO Heyward Donigan explains it’s more of an incubator that’s designed to draw more diverse employees to the company.

“I was never going to be able to recruit the talent that we needed without being able to recruit people who were diverse, both in terms of race and gender, but also geography, that the best and brightest weren’t always going to be either in Camp Hill or even in Pennsylvania,” Donigan said. “They were going to be all over the country and in some cases all over the world.”

The facility has all of the amenities you would expect from a modern company hoping to attract new employees.

Open floor plan at the new Rite Aid building. (Tom MacDonald / WHYY)

“It’s conference rooms with various sizes, shapes, a communal setting, an in-house digital and video studio, a genius bar for IT services,” Donigan said. “Our associates will enjoy all of the modern features and amenities, including a catering kitchen, a business center, and a respite room for nursing, prayer, and meditation.”

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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the city is happy to be hosting the headquarters for another major company.

“It’s really wonderful to see that dynamic, important companies like Rite Aid are making a choice to come to Philadelphia,” Kenney said. “It’s not that they’re stuck here. It’s not that they’re making a living choice to come to this city and to invest their hard-earned dollars in their company’s investment in this city.”

Donigan said they looked at many other locations for the facility, but fell in love with the Navy Yard.

Rite Aid is more than just a pharmacy chain. The company recorded $23 billion in revenue last year with 2,350 retail pharmacies over 200 of which are in the region.

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The company is also the 14th largest specialty pharmacy distributor and operates a pharmacy services company called Elixir, as well as Bartell Drugs, a chain of drug stores in the Seattle area.

The Navy Yard was once home to shipbuilding and overhauling operations, but has been reimagined into a high-tech hub for the city. Future plans call for the development of retail and homeownership opportunities in what is being called a new neighborhood along the riverfront portion of the footprint.

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