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Same-store sales stay flat for Walgreens

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Despite a solid gain in overall revenue, Walgreen Co. posted approximately flat same-store sales for the month of May.

Comparable-store sales dipped 0.2% year over year, the same decrease that Walgreens had reported for April.

Same-store sales in May were up slightly in the front end but down a bit in the pharmacy, the drug store chain said.


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Despite a solid gain in overall revenue, Walgreen Co. posted roughly flat same-store sales for May.

The drug store chain said Thursday that comparable-store sales in May — which don’t include the recently acquired Duane Reade stores — dipped 0.2% year over year, the same decrease it reported for April. However, same-store results for those two months are down from a 2.3% gain in March and a 0.4% uptick in February.

For May, same-store revenue inched up 0.3% in the front end but fell 0.4% in the pharmacy.

Walgreens said the effect of calendar day shifts negatively impacted comparable-pharmacy sales by 0.4 percentage point. Also, generic drug introductions and a lower incidence of flu negatively affected pharmacy same-store results by 1.5 percentage points and 0.4 percentage point, respectively, the company added.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores rose 1.1% in May, including 1.4 percentage points from more patients filling 90-day prescriptions, according to Walgreens. Calendar day shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 0.4 percentage point, while the lower incidence of flu negatively impacted comparable prescriptions filled by 0.9 percentage point.

Overall, Walgreens generated sales of $5.70 billion in May, up 5.9% from $5.38 billion a year earlier. Duane Reade stores contributed 2.9 percentage points to the total sales increase for the month, the retailer said.

Pharmacy revenue climbed 4.2% and front-end sales surged 9% during May. Walgreens said total front-end revenue got a lift of 4.8 percentage points from Duane Reade’s front-end sales.

For the calendar year to date, sales totaled $27.86 billion, up 4.9% versus a year ago. Fiscal 2010 sales for the first nine months, meanwhile, climbed 6.1% to $50.56 billion.

Walgreens said it opened 17 stores in May, including three relocations, and acquired one store. As of May 31, the retailer operated 7,522 drug stores, 665 more than a year ago, including 286 stores acquired over the last 12 months.


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