Walgreen Co. turned in virtually flat same-store sales for July after seeing a slight rebound in the previous month.


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Same-store sales flatten at Walgreens

August 4th, 2010

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. turned in virtually flat same-store sales for July after seeing a slight rebound in the previous month.

The drug store chain said Wednesday that comparable-store sales in July, which exclude the acquired Duane Reade stores, inched up 0.4%, down from a 2% gain in June. The increase in June had followed decreases of 0.2% in May and April.

Walgreens noted that calendar day shifts negatively impacted July same-store sales by 1 percentage point.

Pharmacy same-store sales came in flat for July. Walgreens said comparable-pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by calendar day shifts (1.5 percentage points), generic drug introductions in the last 12 months (2.1 percentage points) and a lower incidence of flu (0.4 percentage point).

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores rose 2% in July, including 1.3 percentage points because of more patients filling 90-day prescriptions. Calendar day shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 1.5 percentage points, while the lower incidence of flu negatively impacted comparable prescriptions filled by 0.9 percentage point, according to the company.

In the front end, same-store sales were up 1.1% for July. Customer traffic in comparable stores edged up 0.6%, and basket size increased 0.5%, Walgreens reported.

Overall, Walgreens' July sales climbed 6.2% to $5.58 billion from $5.26 billion a year earlier. The company said Duane Reade stores contributed 2.9 percentage points to the total sales gain for the month.

Pharmacy revenue increased 4.3% in July, while total front-end sales surged 9.4% during the month, including 5 percentage points from Duane Reade.

For the calendar year to date, Walgreens' sales totaled $39.09 billion, up 5.5% from $37.05 billion in the prior-year period. Meanwhile, fiscal 2010 year-to-date sales for the first 11 months came in at $61.80 billion, up 6.3% from $58.12 billion.

During July, Walgreens opened 11 stores and closed eight. The retailer said that as of July 31, it operated 7,545 drug stores, 602 more than a year ago, including 283 stores acquired over the last 12 months.

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