Walgreen Sales Climb 8.9 Percent in June

(Chicago Tribune/MCT) -

Walgreen Co. sales rose 8.9 percent last month, driven by prescriptions.

The Illinois-based company, the nation’s largest drug-store chain, reported sales of $6.28 billion in June, compared to $5.77 billion last year. Sales in stores open at least a year – an important retail metric since it excludes the boost from new stores – rose 7.5 percent in June.

Sales excluding prescriptions increased 1.8 percent in June, and non-pharmacy sales in stores open at least a year increased 1.3 percent.

Also last month, customer traffic in stores open at least a year fell 2 percent, although the size of customers’ baskets at checkout rose 3.3 percent.

Pharmacy sales in established stores rose 11.3 percent, helped by shifts in the calendar, which boosted prescription sales by 1.7 percentage points. Prescriptions filled at stores open at least a year rose 7.3 percent. Adjusted for shifts in the calendar, prescriptions filled would have risen only 4.7 percent.

Total store sales for the first 10 months of the year were up 6 percent to $63.6 billion, Walgreen said.

Walgreen Co. opened 15 new stores in June, including three relocations, and closed 13. The store closings last month were part of the company’s plan to minimize its asset base by closing a total of 76 stores.