Rite Aid Corp. reported a smaller decrease in comparable-store sales for March, with improved front-end sales providing a lift.


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Rite Aid's March sales down despite front-end gain

April 4th, 2013

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. reported a smaller decrease in comparable-store sales for March, with improved front-end sales providing a lift.

The drug chain said Thursday that for the four weeks ended March 30, comp-store sales fell 2% year over year, an improvement from a 3.6% decrease in February.

Same-store sales grew 3.8% in the front end during March. Rite Aid said 3% of that gain came fron a shift in the timing of Easter, which fell on March 31 this year versus April 8 last year.

Comparable pharmacy sales in March declined 4.5% and reflected a negative impact of 566 basis points from introductions of lower-priced generic drugs.

However, prescriptions filled at comparable stores inched up 0.3% over the prior-year period, Rite Aid said.

Overall drug store sales for March were down 2.5% to $1.94 billion from $1.99 billion a year earlier. Prescription sales represented 67.6% of drug store sales, according to the company.

As of March 30, Rite Aid operated 4,621 drug stores, compared with 4,659 stores a year earlier.

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