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Walgreens sees surge in August sales


DEERFIELD, Ill. The nation’s largest drugstore chain reported Wednesday a 6.8% spike in its monthly sales.

Walgreens had August sales of $5.228 billion, an increase of 6.8% from $4.89 billion for the same month in 2008. Sales in comparable stores (those open at least a year) increased 1.9%.

Meanwhile, comparable store front-end sales decreased 1.3%. Front-end sales continue to be hurt by slow sales of discretionary items in a challenging economy.

August pharmacy sales increased 8.1%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 3.8%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 2.2 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months.

Calendar year-to-date sales were $42.28 billion, an increase of 7.1% from 2008.

Additionally, Walgreens opened 57 stores during August, including five relocations, acquired two stores and closed one. As of Aug. 31, Walgreens operated 7,495 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. That includes 6,996 drug stores, 553 more than a year ago, including 69 stores acquired over the last 12 months.

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