April Showers Sales on Walgreens

Deerfield, Ill. Sales were up 7.9% in April 2008 over the same month a year ago at Walgreens stores, rising to $4.84 billion vs. $4.49 billion. Same-store sales were up 1.6% at the chain, although front-end same-store sales declined 3.1% for the month.

However, April sales were negatively impacted by the earlier Easter celebration in 2008, which occurred in March this year and April last year. For the two-month period, Walgreens’ sales increased 9.2% over March/April in 2007, and same-store sales rose 3.0% with front-end same-store sales up 4.0% in 2008.

Pharmacy sales for the month of April, not impacted by the change in holiday celebrations, increased 10.8% year-over-year and accounted for 66.9% of total sales for the month. Same-store pharmacy sales showed a 4.2% increase despite a reported 3.7% cut into pharmacy sales due to generic drug introductions over the last 12 months.

Sales for the 2008 calendar year were tracking in line with year-to-date sales for Walgreens’ fiscal year. In the first eight months of this fiscal year, Walgreens sales were $39.3 billion up 10.1% over the first eight months of 2007 when sales totaled $35.7 billion. Similarly, Walgreens sales for calendar 2008 were $19.8 billion up 10.6% over the same period last year.

In April, Walgreens opened 38 new stores, including four relocations, and acquired eight drugstores. The company also closed three stores. As of April 30, Walgreens operated 6,614 stores in 49 states.

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