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Report: Walgreens plans to create more jobs, expand HQ

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Over the next three years, Walgreens plans to create 500 new jobs in the Chicago area and invest $75 million to expand and renovate its Deerfield, Ill., offices in a deal that will cede Walgreens $47 million in state tax credits for retaining 1,500 existing jobs, according to an early morning report published by the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday.

According to the report, Walgreens employs 5,000 at its headquarters and surrounding offices, and houses its corporate workforce in 27 office buildings in Bannockburn, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Lincolnshire, Mount Prospect, Northbrook and Northlake.

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Generic drug introductions impact Walgreens’ July sales

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Friday reported July sales of $5.6 billion, a decrease of 3.7% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2011. Compared with prior months during this calendar year, July sales comparisons were more significantly impacted by an increase in generic drug introductions, Walgreens reported.

July pharmacy sales decreased 5%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales decreased 9.7%. Calendar day shifts positively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 2.2 percentage points.

Comparable-store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 7.1 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, by 0.2 percentage point due to the product mix of cough, cold and flu drugs and by 10.8 percentage points due to no longer being part of the Express Scripts network. Prescriptions processed by Express Scripts comprised 12.7% of Walgreens prescriptions in July 2011.

As previously announced, Walgreens again will be a part of the Express Scripts network beginning in September.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 63.7% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales decreased 0.8%, compared with the same month in 2011, while comparable-store front-end sales decreased 2.4%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 3.8%, while basket size increased 1.4%.

Sales in comparable stores decreased by 7%. The effect of generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 4.5 percentage points, while calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 1.4 percentage points.

Walgreens opened 16 stores during July, including three relocations, and closed one.

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TABS Group promotes Bill Laros

BY Allison Cerra

SHELTON, Conn. — The TABS Group has promoted one of its senior consultants.

The company said Bill Laros, who joined the company in 2006, has been named partner. Laros, TABS Group founder and president Kurt Jetta said, has been "instrumental" in developing the TABS WorldView service, which integrates and harmonizes syndicated retail sales data from multiple markets and data suppliers. Jetta also noted that Laros "has done an outstanding job in expanding TABS Group reach to such major [consumer packaged goods] players as Mars, Hormel and Pfizer," adding that Laros’ promotion will continue to allow TABS Group to expand further in the CPG industry.

"Our growth is due to innovative marketing approaches, along with our cutting-edge technology and software, including the recent launch of our new TABS WorldView service," Jetta said.

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