DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday posted May sales of $6.6 billion, an increase of 6%.Total front-end sales increased 3% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while comparable store front-end sales increased 2.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 0.5% while basket size increased 3.1%.
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 3.5% in May and increased 5.6% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. May 2014 had one additional Saturday and one fewer Wednesday compared with May 2013. These calendar shifts negatively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 210 basis points.
May pharmacy sales increased by 7.9%. Comparable store pharmacy sales increased 5.5% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 7.6%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 130 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.2% of total sales for the month. Sales in comparable stores increased by 4.4% in May.
Total sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, which ended May 31, were $19.5 billion, up 6.5%. Comparable store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2014 increased 5.1%, while front-end comparable store sales for the quarter increased 2.2%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 4% in the third quarter and comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.8%.
Walgreens opened eight stores during May, including one relocation, acquired one and closed 23. Nearly all of the May store closings were part of the company’s previously announced efforts to optimize its asset base by closing a total of 76 drug stores during the second half of fiscal 2014.
On May 31, Walgreens operated 8,683 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That includes 8,216 drug stores, 120 more than a year ago, including 70 net stores acquired over the last 12 months. The company also operates infusion and respiratory services facilities, specialty pharmacies and mail service facilities. Its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary manages more than 750 in-store convenient care clinics and worksite health and wellness centers.