Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: No prescription for sluggish sales

September 2, 2009

WALGREEN/Check out the sluggish sales at Walgreen.
 
People filled more prescriptions at the drugstore chain, but didn’t buy much else.  August same-store sales rose only 1.9 percent, less than analysts had anticipated.
 
While many retailers have been experiencing sales declines, drugstores have generally done much better because an aging population  has been buying more prescriptions drugs.
 
But Walgreen’s sales of general merchandise fell 1.3 percent.
 
That could be a bad sign for other retailers that report sales this week. Walgreen is the third-largest retailer that reports monthly sales, behind only Costco and Target.
 
Overall, analysts are expecting a 3.8 percent drop in same-store sales when retailers report this week.
 
Also in the basket:
 
Zale identifies prior adjustments, delays results
 
Jos A Bank Q2 results top Street

Brown-Forman profit tops view
 
Tesco uses weather to predict sales (N.Y. Times)
 
Retail theft soars in economic downturn (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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