Walgreen June Same-Store Sales Increase 7.5%

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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By Erin McCarthy

Walgreen Co. ( WAG ) on Thursday said same-store sales rose 7.5% in June, as higher pharmacy sales helped offset lower customer traffic.

Overall sales jumped 8.9% to $6.28 billion.

Last month, Walgreen reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its fiscal third quarter. Drugstore retailers' sales and margins have been pressured by a wave of major generic-drug introductions. Walgreen said generic introductions dragged down same-store sales by 0.9 percentage points in the last 12 months.

Consumers' shift toward generics has led pharmacy companies to take steps to improve their performance, including a partnership by Walgreen and European drug giant Alliance Boots with drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen Corp.

Walgreen said same-store sales in the pharmacy section rose 11.3% in June. Same-store prescriptions filled improved 7.3%. Pharmacy sales accounted for 65.2% of total sales for the month.

During June, same-store sales edged up 1.3% in the front end of the store. Same-store customer traffic slipped 2%, while basket size rose 3.3%, Walgreen said.

Write to Erin McCarthy at erin.mccarthy@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


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