Camp Hill, Pa. Rite Aid Corp. said Thursday its same-store sales fell 0.9% in February due to the effects of the recession, a weak cold-and-flu season, and declining sales at its Brooks Eckerd stores.
Feb. 28 marked the end of Rite Aid's fiscal fourth quarter. For the period, the company's total revenue fell 1.9% to $6.68 billion, from $6.81 billion last year. Analysts expected sales of $6.72 billion.
Rite Aid had 4,901 drug stores at the end of the quarter, compared with 5,059 a year earlier. The company will issue full fourth-quarter results on April 9.
Same-store sales at Rite Aid name stores were unchanged from February 2008, as pharmacy sales increased 1.4% but front-end sales of beauty products and other items fell 2.5%. At Brooks Eckerd stores, same-store sales were down 2.8%, including a 2.4% slide at pharmacies and a 3.8% decrease at the front end.
Rite Aid closed its acquisition of Brooks Eckerd stores in May 2008, but has struggled to improve results at those stores.