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Walgreens registers $5.9 billion in August sales, down 4.5%; reports Q4, year-end sales

BY Michael Johnsen

 DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Thursday reported August sales of $5.9 billion, a decrease of 4.5% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2011.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 6.8% in August. Higher incidence of flu positively impacted comparable store prescriptions filled by 0.4 percentage point. The negative impact on comparable-store prescriptions filled due to not being part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network was 10.7 percentage points in August. Prescriptions processed by Express Scripts comprised 12.6% of Walgreens prescriptions in August 2011.

August pharmacy sales decreased 7.2%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales decreased 12.4%. In addition to the Express Scripts impact, comparable-store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 7.9 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.1% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 0.9%, compared with the same month in 2011, while comparable-store front-end sales decreased 0.6%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.2%, while basket size increased 1.6%.

Sales in comparable stores decreased by 8.2% in August. The effect of generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 5.1 percentage points.

Total sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which ended Aug. 31, were $17.1 billion, down 4.9%. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 decreased 8.7%, while front-end comparable-store sales for the quarter decreased 1.3%. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 8% in the fourth quarter and comparable pharmacy sales decreased 12.6%.

Total sales for fiscal 2012 were $71.6 billion, down 0.8%. Comparable-store sales for fiscal 2012 decreased 3.6%.

Walgreens opened 18 stores during August, including six relocations, and closed two.

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Walgreens gives more than $100,000 of in-kind donations to areas hit by Hurricane Isaac

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In the week after Hurricane Isaac made landfall along the Gulf Coast, Walgreens responded with donations of more than $100,000 worth of products to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in the hardest-hit states, the pharmacy retailer announced Wednesday. The company delivered three truckloads of food items to Red Cross facilities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for distribution to first responders and those in need.

“We are committed to the health and safety of the communities we serve,” Walgreens market VP Kim Treece said. “With the help of our team members, store operations and distribution centers, we were able to provide much-needed assistance to residents, relief workers and others in the area.”

Anticipating temporary store closures due to severe weather, Walgreens prepared in advance by staging more than 100 emergency generators for rapid deployment. Logistics managers also implemented emergency procedures to ensure store shelves were stocked as demand increased for prescription medications, bottled water, batteries and other essentials.

With nearly 230 Walgreens locations in areas impacted by the storm, the company also received requests from its local team members who experienced hardships due to the extreme weather.

Employees are being assisted through the Walgreens Benefit Fund, which was created in 1939 as a tax-exempt charitable foundation designed to help team members in need. Every team member who is faced with an extreme hardship and has exhausted their financial resources is eligible to apply for assistance. Employees are not required to pay back the donation.

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Bud Light kicks off ‘Year of the Fan’ campaign

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Bud Light is continuing its sponsorship of the National Football League through its "Year of the Fan" campaign, which seeks to enhance the NFL experience for fans everywhere through a variety of promotions, events, offers and contests.

"Our multitouch sponsorship will provide everything the NFL fan needs to have a stellar season," Bud Light VP Mike Sundet said. "From in-store promotions and digital activations, to on-site activities and … Super Bowl XLVII, our goal is to make the excitement of the upcoming season even better."

Earlier this month, Bud Light kicked off its season with the launch of the Bud Light Fantasy Football League. The game connects Bud Light drinkers with fantasy football and gives them the chance to compete for hundreds of prizes, including Super Bowl tickets, by building their ultimate fantasy roster with special codes printed on more than two billion specially marked Bud Light bottles.

Throughout the season, Bud Light said it will debut four new NFL-themed advertisements, two of which — "Very Superstitious" and "My Bud Light" — which aired during the NFL Kickoff game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5. "Very Superstitious" pays homage to the sometimes bizarre rituals fans will perform in the name of team success, and "My Bud Light" welcomes fans to the Bud Light Fantasy Football League, humorously highlighting the potential fantasy success (or fumbles) each Bud Light bottle code represents. The two additional NFL-themed ads will air later in the season. Other activations throughout the NFL season include in-store promotions with Doritos and Tostitos, exclusive on-package discounts with NFLShop.com and special Bud Light Lime NFL packaging.

To conclude the campaign, "Year of the Fan" will culminate at Super Bowl XLVII. Bud Light will serve as the exclusive beer advertiser for Super Bowl XLVII, and Super Bowl XLVII imagery will be featured on all Bud Light products and packaging beginning in mid-December.

For more information on Bud Light’s NFL sponsorship throughout the season, visit BudLight.com or Facebook.com/BudLight.

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