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Calendar day shifts aid May sales for Walgreens

Chain completes Drugstore.com acquisition

DEERFIELD, Ill. — May proved to be a good month for Walgreens, as the drug store chain posted a total sales jump of 7% to nearly $6.1 billion.

Walgreens reported that its total front-end sales experienced a 5.5% increase, while comparable front-end sales realized a 3.6% increase.

For its pharmacy business, Walgreens said sales rose 7.8%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 6.7%, accounting for 64.4% of total sales for the month. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased 7.1%, which included patients that filled 90-day prescriptions in May. Calendar day shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled in comparable stores by 1.7 percentage points, as May 2011 had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Saturday, compared with May 2010.

Customer traffic in comparable stores for May increased 1.6%, while basket size increased 2%, Walgreens said.

Walgreens also reported May sales in overall comparable stores increased 5.6% for the chain, which were positively impacted by 1.1 percentage points due to the calendar day shifts.

Duane Reade stores are not included in any comparable-store results.

In related news, Walgreens said it has completed its acquisition of Drugstore.com, a deal that is valued at approximately $409 million.

The deal, which was announced in late March, better positions Walgreens to offer customers a broad range of services by extending its multichannel initiatives.

“We welcome Drugstore.com’s leaders and employees to the Walgreens family,” Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson said. "Drugstore.com complements Walgreens center of gravity — our 7,700 drug stores — by extending many of our own multichannel initiatives that have been driving our growth. This acquisition also provides us a unique opportunity to access more than 3 million savvy, online loyal customers, and move even closer to our existing customers through relationships with new vendors and partners, adding approximately 60,000 products to our already strong online offering."

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