Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Walgreen sales plenty to sneeze at

January 6, 2010

WALGREEN/Check out the sickly same-store sales at Walgreen.

Same-store sales of general merchandise fell 3.1 percent, with the company saying a decision to stock fewer seasonal items caused much of then drop.

Walgreen, like most retailers, had to sharply discount seasonal items in the teeth of the recession last year.

But prescription same-store sales only rose 1.8 percent, compared with analyst expectations of a 3.1 percent increase. More sales of lower-priced generic drugs, which help profits but cut into revenue, hurt pharmacy sales.

Traffic in stores was also down and when people came in, they bought less.

Maybe those flu vaccines are cutting down on sales of cold medicine and Kleenex.

Also in the basket:

Kraft gets 1.52 percent acceptance for Cadbury bid

Dove takes its men’s line to the Super Bowl (Advertising Age)

Wave of store closings seen as firms reshape (WWD, subscription required)

(Reuters photo)

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