OPERATIONS

Walter Loeb: Retailers must restructure in 2016

BY CSA STAFF

Restructuring will be key to retail survival in 2016, according to veteran retail analyst Walter Loeb, who is worried about the future profitability of many leading traditional retailers as the year gets underway. “They are losing sales productivity in their stores while expenses rise and management bureaucracy grows,” Loeb wrote in an article on Forbes.com. [Forbes.com]

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REAL ESTATE

Restaurant chain to add 33 new locations in California

BY Marianne Wilson

Sonic Drive-In is expanding its footprint in the Golden State.

The company signed franchise agreements to open a total of 33 new drive-ins in the state of California over the next seven years.

The 33 drive-ins are planned for multiple markets across the state: 11 in Sacramento; 12 in the San Francisco Bay Area; three in west Los Angeles; five between Bakersfield and Stockton and two in the Palm Springs area.

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FINANCE

Rite Aid December sales flat at $2.2 billion

BY Michael Johnsen

Rite Aid last week reported a same-store sales decrease of 0.1% for the four weeks ended Dec. 26. December front-end same-store sales increased 0.8% while pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 207 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, decreased 0.6%.

Despite the report of relatively flat sales, Rite Aid stocks were up on Dec. 31, reaching a peak of $7.89 for the day. Today, the stock is trading at $7.86, up slightly from the day's open of $7.84.

Prescription count at comparable stores decreased 0.4% over the prior-year period.

Total drugstore sales for the four-week period were flat with sales of $2.2 billion. Prescription sales accounted for 64.6% of drug store sales, and third-party prescription sales represented 98% of pharmacy sales.

Same-store sales for the 43-week period ended Dec. 26, 2015 increased 1.7% over the prior-year period. Front-end same-store sales increased 0.4%, while pharmacy same-store sales increased 2.3%. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 0.5% over the prior-year period.

Total drugstore sales for the 43 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2015 increased 1.6% with sales of $22.1 billion. Prescription sales represented 69% of total drugstore sales, and third-party prescription sales represented 97.8% of pharmacy sales.

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