Walgreens posts 2.1% drop in October sales, signs more than 28 million to Balance Rewards program

 DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday posted October sales of $6 billion, a drop of 2.1% as compared to October 2011. However, in only six weeks on the market, the chain's Balance Rewards loyalty program signed more than 28 million customers through Oct. 31. 

The results include the brunt of the impact from Hurricane Sandy — at the peak of the storm, approximately 750 of 1,400 stores in the impacted area were closed, Walgreens reported. Nearly all of those locations have since reopened.

Total front-end sales fell 1.5% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 2.9% through Oct. 31. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 5.2%, while basket size increased 2.3%.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased by 1.8% in October. Pharmacy sales decreased 2.6%, while comparable store pharmacy sales decreased 7.5%. Total same-store sales were down 5.9%. 

Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season-to-date were nearly 3.6 million versus approximately 4 million last year.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.8% of total sales for the month.




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