An earlier Easter holiday and introductions of lower-priced generic drugs contributed to a same-store sales decrease in April at Rite Aid Corp.


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Rite Aid reports same-store sales decline for April

May 2nd, 2013

CAMP HILL, Pa. – An earlier Easter holiday and introductions of lower-priced generic drugs contributed to a same-store sales decrease in April at Rite Aid Corp.

Rite Aid said Thursday that for the four weeks ended April 27, comparable-store sales fell 4% year over year, down from a 2% decline in March.

The April result continued a slide in Rite Aid's comp-store sales performance. Since last August, the retailer has seen just one monthly same-store sales increase, a 0.3% uptick in January. The falloff followed a streak of comp-store sales growth, in which a 1% decrease last June marked the company's first monthly decline in over a year.

In April, front-end same-store sales were down 3.5%, reflecting the negative impact of Easter falling on March 31 this year compared with April 8 last year, Rite Aid said.

Comparable pharmacy sales in April dropped 4.2% and reflected a 454-basis-point negative impact from new generic drugs, according to the company. Generics produce less revenue but have bigger profit margins. Prescription count at comparable stores was virtually flat, dipping 0.2% for the month.

Overall drug store sales for April came in at $1.90 billion, down 4.6% from $1.99 billion a year earlier. Prescription sales represented 67.9% of drug store sales.

For the eight-week period ended April 27, same-store sales fell 3% from a year earlier, reflecting a 0.1% uptick in the front end and a 4.4% decrease in the pharmacy. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores inched up 0.1% from the prior-year period.

Total drug store sales for the eight weeks declined 3.5% to $3.84 billion from $3.98 billion last year. Prescription sales accounted for 67.7% of drug store sales during the period.

As of April 27, Rite Aid operated 4,619 drug stores, compared with 4,658 stores in the year-ago period.

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