The Rite Aid store on Columbia Center Boulevard will move to a new location on North Steptoe Street in Kennewick next spring.
It's a better spot and will have a drive-through pharmacy, said Eric Harkreader, a Rite Aid spokesman. Construction is to start in about two months.
The estimated cost is about $1 million, according to the building permit issued for the project. The updated store at 1901 N. Steptoe St. will be more than 17,000 square feet.
The Camp Hill, Pa.-based drugstore chain bought the land in 2007 for about $2.35 million from the owners of the Steptoe Food Mart.
The new store will be a "Customer World" model store, like the ones on Richland's Lee Boulevard and on Pasco's Fourth Avenue, Harkreader said.
The design, which was developed about five years ago from suggestions from drugstore customers, includes wider and clutter-free aisles, clearly marked hanging signs and improved navigation to help customers find what they're shopping for.
The store also will have a private room for pharmacist counseling, Harkreader said. A redesigned waiting room with lowered ceiling is expected to make the pharmacy more welcoming and personal.
"Our pharmacy is the star of the store, and we really tried to emphasize the role that a patient's regular pharmacist has in their healthcare team," he said.
Rite Aid may hire a few more employees, to bring their store total number to 25, when the Columbia Center store moves.
There are six Rite Aid stores within a 10-mile radius of Richland, 16 stores in the greater Yakima-Kennewick-Pasco-Richland area and 139 in the state.
Rite Aid operates about 4,800 stores nationwide and has annual revenues of more than $25 billion.
The company reports opening 17 new stores, relocating 41, remodeling eight and closing 138 in the 2010 financial year.
-- Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; firstname.lastname@example.org; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com