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Walgreens' same-store sales rise despite slow front end
August 4th, 2009
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. reported a gain in comparable-store sales for July in spite of a drop in front-end business during the month.
The drug store chain said Tuesday that comparable-store sales edged up 2% overall in July.
Comparable-pharmacy sales rose 3.8% and were negatively impacted by 4 percentage points from generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, according to the company. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores climbed 5% in July, including a 1.7 percentage point gain due to more patients filling 90-day prescriptions, the chain said.
At the front end, comparable-store sales fell 1.3% in July. Walgreens said front-end revenue was hurt by slowing sales of discretionary items in the challenging economy.
Total July sales came in at $5.26 billion, up 7.3% from $4.90 billion a year earlier. Pharmacy revenue for the month jumped 8.4%, the company noted.
Walgreens said calendar day shifts had a negative impact on July comparable-store results, since the month had one extra Tuesday and one less Friday versus a year ago.
The July results fell short of the previous month's gains. In June, Walgreens posted a 3.4% gain in comparable-store sales and a 9% increase in overall revenue.
The company said fiscal 2009 year-to-date sales totaled $58.12 billion, up 7.3% from the prior-year period. Comparable-store sales for the 11 months rose 2.1%.
In July, Walgreens opened 45 stores, including three relocations, and closed one store. As of July 31, the retailer operated 6,943 drug stores, 587 more than a year ago, including 70 stores acquired over the last 12 months.