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Rite Aid reports drop in monthly sales

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid reported weak sales for the month of February.

For the five weeks ended Feb. 27, the drug store chain said Thursday its same-store sales, front-end same-store sales and pharmacy same-store sales all decreased 3.2%.

Rite Aid contributed its drop in pharmacy same-store sales were negatively impacted from new generic introductions. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 3.4% over the prior-year period.

Front-end and pharmacy same store sales were negatively impacted by a weaker cough, cold and flu season than in the like period last year, Rite Aid said. Front-end sales were also negatively affected by severe weather, especially in the northeast and south, and continued weak consumer demand.

Meanwhile, total drug store sales for the five-week period decreased 4.5% to $2.43 billion, compared with $2.55 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.% of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 95.8% of pharmacy sales.

As of Feb. 27, Rite Aid operated 4,780 stores, compared with 4,901 stores in the like period a year ago.

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Yaksitch named VP marketing and merchandising for Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division

BY Antoinette Alexander

FORT WORTH, Texas Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division has named Frank Yaksitch as VP marketing and merchandising, effective March 12, according to published reports.

Yaksitch, who has been with Albertsons for more than 35 years, most recently served as SVP of operations for Albertsons Intermountain West division.

During his tenure with Albertsons, Yaksitch has also held a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including store director and district manager.

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Walgreens’ monthly sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens had February sales of $5.31 billion, an increase of 3.2% from $5.14 billion for the same month in 2009.

The drug store chain also reported that its same-store sales increased 0.4%.

February pharmacy sales increased 3.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.9%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with February 2009. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 4.5% in February, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.6%, which the company said were impacted by continued weak demand for discretionary items and by lower incidence of flu.

Year-to-date sales for fiscal 2010 for the first six months totaled $33.34 billion, up 6.1% from the same period last year.

In the month of February, the chain opened seven stores, acquired 11 and closed one. At Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 7,679 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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