Walgreens reports sales gain across all sectors

November sales boosted by calendar day shift, flu shots

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens saw a rise in sales across the board for the month of November and fiscal first quarter 2011, the drug store chain said Friday.

Total sales for the chain rose 8.6% to $5.83 billion in November, with 2.8 percentage points contributed by Duane Reade stores. Comparable-store sales for the month also saw a gain of 3.2%, although comps results do not include Duane Reade sales. Total sales for the quarter saw a strong gain of 5.9% to $17.33 billion, as comparable-store sales increased 0.8%.

For its pharmacy business, Walgreens' November sales were boosted by the calendar day shift and increase of flu shots administered at Walgreens pharmacies and clinics — 1 million shots were administered in the month, bringing the year-to-date total to 5.6 million. These factors produced an 8.8% gain for Walgreens' pharmacy business, while comparable-pharmacy sales increased 4.2%.

Total front-end sales increased 8.2% in November, including 4.5 percentage points from Duane Reade, as front-end comparable-store sales increased 1.5%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 0.3%, while basket size increased 1.2%, Walgreens said. Fiscal first quarter 2011 touted similar numbers: Front-end comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 0.4%.

Walgreens opened 49 stores during November, including 12 relocations, acquired nine stores and closed three.

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