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Walgreens reports positive July sales

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday reported July sales of $5.82 billion, an increase of 4.7%.

Total front-end sales increased 6.8% in July, while comparable front-end sales increased 4.8%. Customer traffic in comparable stores increased 1.4% and basket size increased 3.4%. According to Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly, improved front-end trends across the drug channel are sustainable in the current economic environment because pharmacy operators historically have been able to pass along inflation without impacting volume, and convenient corner locations serve to neutralize any impact from rising gas prices.

Shares of Walgreens stock, however, were trading some 30 cents below Tuesday’s close at $37.54 in early morning trading; though that’s more likely a reflection of Walgreens’ announcement earlier this year that the chain will walk away from the Express Scripts pharmacy network beginning January 2012 due to unfavorable terms.

Prescriptions filled across comparable pharmacies increased 1.3% in July, Walgreens reported. Calendar day shifts in July, which had one additional Sunday and one fewer Thursday, compared with July 2010, negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 220 basis points.

July pharmacy sales increased 2.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 1.5%. In addition to the 220 basis-point impact due to calendar day shifts, same-store pharmacy sales also were negatively impacted by 190 basis points, due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Walgreens’ pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Sales in comparable stores increased 2.7%; the effect of calendar day shifts negatively impacted total comparable sales by 140 basis points.

Calendar year-to-date sales were $41.9 billion, an increase of 7.3%.

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Sam Talbot joins OneTouch’s Life First campaign

BY Allison Cerra

MILPITAS, Calif. — A diabetes awareness campaign, sponsored by blood-glucose monitoring systems brand OneTouch, has tapped celebrity chef Sam Talbot to help educate and inspire Americans living with diabetes.

OneTouch said Talbot, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 12 years old, will participate in the Life First campaign by working alongside the brand to raise awareness of the importance of regular glucose testing in managing diabetes, as well as sharing strategies for success, particularly healthy eating.

OneTouch’s Life First campaign launched in March with ads featuring music legend B.B. King and Crystal Bowersox, the season 9 runner-up on "American Idol".

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Orly wants nails to ‘take flight’ with its fall 2011 collection

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Nail care brand Orly wants beauty mavens to fly away from ordinary nails in fall 2011 with dazzling metallic and sophisticated neutral lacquers gathered in one collection — Birds of a Feather.

A modern twist on standard fall shades, Birds of a Feather is designed to be reminiscent of stunning bird feathers gathered from around the globe. With hues ranging from deep purple flecked with fuchsia to shimmering natural beige, nails are free spirited and reflect the optimistic nature of a bird in flight. The collection includes:
  

  • Fowl Play: Purple sparkle
;

  • 
Lucky Duck: Green crème;

  • Sea Gurl: Grey shimmer
;

  • Nite Owl: Beige shimmer;

  • Peachy Parrot: Coral shimmer; and

  • 
Sweet Peacock: Blue shimmer.

The Birds of a Feather collection also includes two sets that allow creativity to take flight. The Birds of a Feather Gift Set includes the Nite Owl, Sweet Peacock and Lucky Duck lacquers packaged in a faux suede bag decorated with a peacock feather keychain. The Flights of Fancy Instant Artist Kit features five new Instant Artist shades inspired by the Birds of a Feather fall color collection, and also includes the Orly Dotter Duo tool with step-by step instructions on how to create Flights of Fancy Instant Artist designs.

The Birds of a Feather collection will be available starting September in an 18-piece display, 6-pix pack and mani minis, in addition to the Birds of a Feather Gift Set and Flights of Fancy Instant Artist Kit.

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