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Walgreens December sales grow 7.2%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens had December sales of $7.20 billion, an increase of 7.2% from $6.72 billion for the same month in fiscal 2013.

Total front-end sales increased 4% compared with the same month in fiscal 2013, while same-store front-end sales increased 2.5%. Same-store sales increased 6.1%. Same-store customer traffic decreased 1.3%, while basket size increased 3.8%. Calendar 2013 sales were $73.72 billion, an increase of 4.5% from $70.52 billion in 2012. Walgreens opened five stores during December, including one relocation, acquired three stores and closed six.

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Hhgregg estimates 12% net sales drop in Q3

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis — For the third fiscal quarter of 2014, Hhgregg estimates net sales to be approximately $707.1 million, a decrease of approximately 11.6% as compared to net sales of $799.6 million reported for the third fiscal quarter of 2013.

Third fiscal quarter same-store sales are estimated to have decreased approximately 11.2%, with the appliance category expected to have increased approximately 1.5%, the consumer electronic category expected to have decreased approximately 19.7%, the computing and wireless category expected to have decreased approximately 24.5%, and the home products category expected to have increased approximately 36.1%.

Dennis May, president and CEO of Hhgregg, said poor performance in the consumer electronics and wireless categories led to the third quarter coming in below the company’s expectations. Hhgregg now expects its full fiscal year performance to miss previously stated guidance.

“Our sales of consumer electronics and computing and wireless products were significantly below our expectations during the quarter,” said May. “Our third fiscal quarter, while solidly profitable, is expected to be materially below both our expectations and prior year for diluted earnings per share, driven by the net sales miss. Our holiday sales were significantly impacted by increased promotional offerings of televisions and tablet products across a variety of retail formats. While we are disappointed with these sales results, we made the strategic decision during the quarter not to fully participate in the heavily promotional environment. We did manage our inventory and liquidity position well, with total inventory per store below prior year levels.”

Hhgregg will provide additional information regarding its quarterly results and will update full year guidance when it reports its third fiscal quarter results on Jan. 30.

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Report: Bezos suffers New Year’s Day kidney stone attack

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, reportedly had to be flown from the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador on Jan. 1, 2014 for emergency treatment of a kidney stone attack. According to NBC News, the Ecuadorian navy flew Bezos by helicopter from a cruise ship to his private jet, which then took him to the U.S. treatment.

Amazon.com sources indicated that Bezos did not require surgery and is doing well.

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