Rite Aid comp-store sales inch up in August

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. posted a slight gain in comparable-store sales for August.

Rite Aid sign with RediClinicRite Aid said Thursday that for the five weeks ended Aug. 29, same-store sales edged up 1.6% year over year. The increase continued the drug chain’s positive trend in comp-store sales for 2015 but was down from gains earlier this summer of 2.4% in July and June.

In the front end, same-store sales were up 0.6% for August. Comparable pharmacy sales rose 2.1% and reflected a negative impact of 222 basis points from introductions of new generic drugs, Rite Aid reported.

Prescription count at comparable stores in August dipped 0.3% over the prior-year period.

Overall drug store sales for the five weeks grew 1.6% to $2.546 billion from $2.507 billion in the same period a year ago, according to Rite Aid. Prescription sales represented 69.6% of drug store sales.

For the 13 weeks ended Aug. 29, marking Rite Aid’s fiscal 2016 second quarter, same-store sales increased 2.1% versus a year ago, including gains of 0.3% in the front end and 2.8% in the pharmacy. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores were up 0.2% for the period.

Total drug store sales for the quarter came in at $6.602 billion, up 1.9% from $6.477 billion a year earlier. Prescription sales accounted for 69.3% of overall drug store sales.

In Rite Aid’s fiscal 2016 first half, comp-store sales rose 2.5% year over year, reflecting increases of 0.5% in the front end and 3.4% in the pharmacy. Script count in the 26-week period ended Aug. 29 was up 0.9% versus a year ago.

Drug store sales for the half totaled $13.205 billion, up 2.3% from $12.902 billion in the prior-year period. Prescription sales represented 69.2% of overall drug store sales in the 26 weeks.

As of Aug. 29, Rite Aid operated 4,561 drug stores, compared with 4,572 stores a year earlier.


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