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Walgreens reports sales gain across all sectors

BY Allison Cerra

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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Kodak gets ‘PYNK’ in CVS/pharmacy stores

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Shortly after testing its PYNK system in CVS/pharmacy locations in the Westchester County, N.Y., area, Kodak officially is rolling out the photo kiosks at 5,000 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide.

The Kodak PYNK photo kiosk gives photo enthusiasts the capability to create various projects with its "print-to-fit" system. New to the mix is a photo collage option, which takes out the time-consuming work of selecting, cropping and printing photos for a collage display, the company said.

“Consumers have always aspired to display beautiful collage frames in their homes, but the time and work involved didn’t make it easily possible. Now with the PYNK System, anyone can create stunning designer-quality framed collages in seconds,” said Nicoletta Zongrone, general nanager of retail systems solutions and Eastman Kodak VP. “We believe this solution is game-changing for the frame industry because our research shows that there is potential for incremental frame sales as a result of making the framing process this easy. The PYNK System is our most recent example of Kodak’s ongoing commitment to innovation that transforms the retail photo experience by helping consumers to quickly and easily share their stories.”

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DR growlers grow in Brooklyn

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The inhabitants of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood tend to like their independent, mom-and-pop stores. So it’s no surprise that the recent opening of a Duane Reade store on Bedford Avenue caused some controversy among residents. But then again, Duane Reade is no ordinary drug store chain, and it showed its independent spirit with something far from controversial: beer.

The new store includes a huge walk-in beer closet with a selection of beers ranging from locally brewed Brooklyn Brewery lagers to pricey Chimay Trappist ale imported from Belgium. It also includes a beer tap where patrons can buy growlers full of specialty microbrews for $7.99.

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