Though down year over year, July same-store sales at Walgreen Co. improved as the pharmacy fared slightly better following a double-digit decline in June.


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July same-store sales decrease at Walgreens

August 3rd, 2012

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Though down year over year, July same-store sales at Walgreen Co. improved as the pharmacy fared slightly better following a double-digit decline in June.

Walgreens said Friday that comparable-store sales in July fell 7%, reflecting a negative impact of 4.5 percentage points from generic drug introductions and a positive impact of 1.4 percentage points from calendar day shifts (one extra Monday and Tuesday, and one fewer Friday and Saturday versus a year earlier).

In June, overall comp-store sales dropped 10% year over year after Walgreens had been reporting monthly decreases of around 6% in the previous few months.

For July, same-store sales declined 2.4% in the front end. Customer traffic in comparable stores fell 3.8%, though basket size grew 1.4%.

Comparable pharmacy sales in July were down 9.7%. Walgreens said the result was negatively impacted by 7.1 percentage points from generic drug introductions; 0.2 percentage point from the product mix of cough, cold and flu drugs; and 10.8 percentage points from no longer being part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network. Calendar day shifts, though, positively impacted pharmacy same-store sales by 2.2 percentage points.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 63.7% of the drug chain's total sales for the month.

The prescription count at comparable stores decreased 5.2% in July, despite lifts of 2.2 percentage points from calendar day shifts and 0.3 percentage point from a higher incidence of flu. Prescriptons filled during the month were negatively impacted by 10.8 percentage points from no longer being part of the Express Scripts network. Walgreens said prescriptions processed by Express Scripts comprised 12.7% of its prescriptions in July 2011.

Total revenue in July came in at $5.59 billion, down 3.7% from $5.81 billion a year earlier. Front-end sales dipped 0.8%, and pharmacy sales declined 5%.

For the calendar year to date, sales fell 3% to $40.65 billion. Revenue for the 11-month fiscal 2012 year to date were nearly flat, down 0.4% to $65.79 billion.

Walgreens said it opened 16 drug stores during July, including three relocations, and closed one store. As of July 31, the chain operated 7,919 drug stores, 177 more than a year ago, including 45 stores acquired over the last 12 months.

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