Rite Aid Corp. saw same-store sales fall in February after reporting an uptick the previous month.

Rite Aid, same-store sales, February, comparable-store sales, comp-store sales, front end, pharmacy, comparable pharmacy sales, prescriptions filled, prescription count, drug store sales, fourth quarter, prescription sales, script count

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Same-store sales at Rite Aid decline in February

March 7th, 2013

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. saw same-store sales fall in February after reporting an uptick the previous month.

Rite Aid said Thursday that for the five weeks ended March 2, comparable-store sales declined 3.6% year over year. The drug chain had seen comp-store sales edge up 0.3% in January, which had ended a string of monthly same-store sales decreases over the last part of 2012.

In the front end, same-store sales dipped 1.3% in February. Rite Aid said front-end same-store sales attributable to flu-related, over-the-counter products were flat.

Comparable pharmacy sales were down 4.7% for February and reflected a negative impact of 695 basis points from introductions of lower-priced generic drugs. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores inched up 0.3% over the prior-year period, despite a 0.1% decrease in flu-related prescriptions and flu shots, according to the company.

Overall drug store sales in February came in at nearly $2.46 billion, down 3.7% from $2.55 billion a year ago. Prescription sales represented 67.7% of drug store sales.

For the 13-week fourth quarter ended March 2, same-store sales decreased 2%, reflecting a 0.3% gain in the front end and a 3.1% decline in the pharmacy. The prescription count at comparable stores rose 3% from a year earlier.

Rite Aid noted that the fourth quarter marked its ninth-straight quarter of script count gains at comparable stores as well as its 10th consecutive quarter of improved or flat front-end same-store sales.

Total drug store sales for the fourth quarter fell 2.4% year over year to about $6.43 billion, with prescription sales accounting for 66.5% of drug store sales.

Rite Aid closed out the fiscal year with sales down slightly. Overall drug store sales for the 52 weeks ended March 2 dipped 0.9% to $25.28 billion. Prescription sales represented 67.6% of total drug store revenue.

Comp-store sales for the year edged down 0.3%, including a 1.4% gain in the front end and a 1% decrease in the pharmacy. The script count at comparable stores was up 3.4% year over year.

As if March 2, Rite Aid operated 4,623 drug stores, compared with 4,667 stores in the year-ago period.