Rite Aid reports same-store sales increase

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid on Thursday reported a 1.1 percent increase in same-store sales for the five weeks ended Aug. 30, representing a 3.7 percent lift in front-end same-store sales and a slight decline of 0.2 percent in comparable pharmacy sales.

Excluding the acquired Brooks/Eckerd store base, Rite Aid core stores recorded a 3 percent lift in same-store sales results overall, including a 3.7 percent increase across front-end and a 2.5 percent increase in pharmacy sales.

Same-store sales for the acquired Brooks/Eckerds were down 2.7 percent, compared with a 3.8 percent decline in July, representing a 3.5 percent lift in front-end same-store sales countered by a 4.6 percent decline in pharmacy.

"We're pleased with our same-store sales increase in August, even as customers continued to cut back on spending and prescription growth throughout the industry remained sluggish," stated Mary Sammons, Rite Aid president, chairman and chief executive officer. "But the real news is the dramatic turnaround in front-end sales in the acquired stores, as customers are becoming more aware of the positive changes we've made, including a much wider selection of products and the addition of Rite Aid private brand. We will complete the Brooks Eckerd integration by the end of September and continue to expect same stores sales in the acquired stores will turn positive sometime in the third quarter."

Total drug store sales for the five-week period decreased 1.3 percent to $2.5 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.2 percent of drug store sales, and third-party prescription revenue represented 96.4 percent of pharmacy sales

For the 13-week quarter ended Aug. 30, sales were up 0.6 percent over the prior-year period, Rite Aid reported. Front-end same-store sales were up 1.9 percent and pharmacy same-store sales remained flat.

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