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Walgreens’ March sales down

BY Michael Johnson

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens posted March sales of $6 billion, a decrease of 4.3%, compared with the same month in fiscal year 2011.

“We continued to see growth in our front-end business, and with Easter falling on April 8 this year, we anticipate that much of our Easter sales will be reflected in our April results,” Walgreens EVP and CFO Wade Miquelon said. “In addition, our new advertising circular strategy has helped drive profitable sales.” Walgreens launched its new weekly ad circular, with additional online savings, in mid-February.

Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 11.4% in March. The negative impact on comparable store prescriptions filled due to no longer being part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network was 10.7 percentage points. Calendar day shifts in March, which had one additional Friday and Saturday, and one fewer Tuesday and Wednesday, compared with March 2011, negatively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 2.1 percentage points. And lower incidence of flu negatively impacted comparable store prescriptions filled by 0.7 percentage points.

March pharmacy sales decreased 8.4%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales decreased 11.1%.

Total front-end sales were down 2.5%, compared with the year-ago period, though comparable store front-end sales were up 1.2%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 1%, while basket size increased 2.2%. Sales in comparable stores decreased by 6.8%. The effect of calendar day shifts negatively impacted total comparable sales by 1.3 percentage points.

Calendar year-to-date sales were $17.7 billion, a decrease of 1.8% from $18 billion in 2011. Fiscal 2012 year-to-date sales for the first seven months were $42.8 billion, up 1.6% from $42.1 billion in fiscal 2011.

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Convenience store sales totaled $682 billion in 2011

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — In-store convenience store sales grew 2.4%, reaching a record $195.0 billion in 2011, according to data released Wednesday by NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores). Combined with $486.9 billion in gasoline sales, total convenience store sales in 2011 were $681.9 billion.

More than 80% of in-store sales are from five categories: cigarettes (38.1% of in-store sales); foodservice (16.9%); packaged beverages (14.3%); beer (7.3%); other tobacco products (4.0%).

While cigarettes and other tobacco products accounted for more than 42.1% of in-store revenue dollars, they accounted for only 22.2% of gross margin dollars, according to NACS. Meanwhile, packaged beverages and foodservice continued to gain share of gross profit dollars and accounted for nearly half (47.8%) of all gross profit dollars.

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Loblaws Scores BIG in Toronto

BY Marianne Wilson

Loblaw Companies Limited has transformed the famed Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto — an iconic Canadian landmark and former home of one of the most famous hockey arenas in North America — into the ultimate upscale supermarket destination. Massive in scope and ambition, the 85,000-sq.-ft. store more than lives up to its billing as “Toronto’s new crown jewel of food stores.”

Made up of specialty markets and differentiated food concepts, the new Loblaws offers shoppers an array of option, with food taking center stage. A few of the highlights include the Wall of Cheese, an 18-ft. display that showcases 400 varieties; an East-meets-West Sushi bar combining traditional fare and modern chef-inspired creations; a tea emporium with over 100 flavors of tea; a bakery with its own in-house oven; an Asian grocery section; and aisles upon aisles of fresh and frozen, prepared and raw foods. Fishmongers and butchers are on hand to assist customers. Shoppers can also purchase meals prepared daily by the store’s 14 in-house chefs in an open elevated kitchen.

In other services, the store features a walk-in medical clinic. An in-store dietician is available to help customers decode and understand food labels.

The second floor of the store is home to the company’s Joe Fresh apparel brand. The 8,500-sq.-ft. Joe Fresh shop features women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, cosmetics, jewelry and sleepwear. The second floor also features an LCBO liquor store and Loblaw’s President’s Choice Cooking School, which offers everything from demonstrations to cooking classes to a Dine with the Chef program.

Equally impressive as the food offerings is the care and detail that went into the renovation and design of the historic space. Designed by Landini Associates, Sydney, Australia, the interior is striking, with bold graphics, stainless steel and blond wood grain surfaces, glossy black tile and a vibrant red and orange floor inspired by the colors from the original Loblaws logo.

The modern elements are combined with references to the Gardens’ history and its past glories, including a wall sculpture created from the arena’s old blue chairs that have been melded together in the shape of a giant blue maple leaf. And in a direct nod to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a red circle on the floor designates the former location of center ice. The columns in the store are adorned with images and text of the Gardens’ most famous events and celebrations. Past triumphs are also commemorated in photographs displayed on cafe tables and on wall murals.


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L.Jandayan says:
Mar-07-2013 10:32 am

Fisherman and butchers in this company are on hand to assist customers. Customers can also buy meals prepared day by day by the store’s with an in-house chefs and an open elevated kitchen. - Aflac Assist LLC

L.Jandayan says:
Mar-07-2013 10:32 am

Fisherman and butchers in this company are on hand to assist customers. Customers can also buy meals prepared day by day by the store’s with an in-house chefs and an open elevated kitchen. - Aflac Assist LLC

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