FINANCE

Walgreens increase July same-store sales 8%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Deerfield, Ill. – Walgreens same-store sales increased by 6.3% in July, the retailer reported this morning. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total same-store sales by 1.4 percentage points, while generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total same-store sales by 1.8 percentage points.

Total front-end sales increased 3.6% compared with the same month in fiscal 2012, while same-store front-end sales increased 2.3%. Customer traffic in stores open at least one year decreased 1.2% while basket size increased 3.5%.

Meanwhile, prescriptions filled at stores open a year or more increased by 9.5% in July and increased 7.3% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. This year’s July had one additional Wednesday and one fewer Sunday compared with July 2012, positively impacting same-store prescriptions filled by 2.2 percentage points.

Total July sales for Walgreens were $6.03 billion, an increase of 8% from $5.59 billion for the same month in fiscal 2012.

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FINANCE

Massachusetts Oks sales tax holiday Aug. 10-11

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boston – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has signed a bill authorizing a sales tax holiday in Massachusetts for the upcoming weekend of Aug. 10. The bill gives consumers a one-time break on the state’s 6.25% sales tax on any ordinarily taxed retail items individually worth up to $2,500. The break does not extend to vehicles, motor boats, tobacco, meals and utilities.

Massachusetts did not offer a sales tax holiday in 2009 but otherwise has designated one weekend in August as a sales tax holiday every year since 2004.

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FINANCE

Office Depot files SEC presentation supporting board nominees

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Office Depot has filed a presentation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which the retailer says demonstrates the importance of shareholders electing its board’s nominees at the company’s annual meeting on Aug. 21. In the presentation, Office Depot claimed that the election of the board’s nominees will ensure their continued oversight of the company’s progress on its multi-year strategic plan to improve operations at Office Depot and achieve the substantial synergies and value creation opportunities of the OfficeMax and Office Depot de Mexico transactions.

The presentation also refutes claims by shareholder Starboard Ventures LLP that its alternate plan for the impending OfficeMax merger and slate of shareholder nominees will provide better value and profitability for investors.

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