Solid front-end business offset a virtually flat prescription count as Rite Aid Corp. posted increased same-store sales in July.


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Front end lifts Rite Aid's July same-store sales

July 28th, 2011

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Solid front-end business offset a virtually flat prescription count as Rite Aid Corp. posted increased same-store sales in July.

The drug store chain said Thursday that for the four weeks ended July 23, same-store sales edged up 1.9% versus a year earlier, slightly higher than the 1.8% gain recorded in June.

Thus far this calendar year, Rite Aid has turned in comparable-store sales increases every month except March, when same-store results were essentially flat, dipping 0.1%.

In July, same-store sales increased 3.1% in the front end and 1.4% in the pharmacy. Rite Aid noted that pharmacy comp-store sales reflect a 151-basis-point negative impact from generic drug introductions. Also, the comapny said prescription count at comparable stores slipped 0.4% compared with the prior-year period.

Overall drug store sales in July rose 1.6% to almost $1.92 billion from about $1.89 billion a year earlier.

For the 21-week year-to-date period ended July 23, same-store sales increased 1.2%, including gains of 0.9% in the front end and 1.3% in the pharmacy. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores inched up 0.3% year over year.

Meanwhile, total drug store sales for the year to date were up 0.5% to $10.21 billion from $10.16 billion in the year-ago time span.

As of July 23, Rite Aid operated 4,702 stores, compared with 4,751 stores a year ago.

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