Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Walgreen sales catch a cold

February 3, 2010

WALGREEN/Check out a dose of bad medicine for Walgreen.

Analysts had expected the No. 1 U.S. drugstore chain operator to post a 2.2 percent increase in same-store sales. But the company instead posted a surprise 1.1 percent drop.

Among factors that hurt the company were a calendar shift. This January had one less weekday in it than last year. That might not seem like a big deal, but Walgreen fills more prescriptions during the week so the shift cut 1.3 percentage points from the same-store sales increase.

Pharmacy same-store sales fell 1.2 percent, a decline made worse by the fact that some of those sales have were in the form of H1N1 flu shots, a one-time item.

The same-store sales decline was also the second monthly surprise in a row.

The problem has also infected the entire store, with general merchandise sales also down.

Also in the basket:

Polo revenue misses Street view;  shares sink

Abercrombie & Fitch’s style sense wears thin with some shoppers (WSJ)

(Reuters photo)


Walgreen had very week Black Friday specials – very little to draw people in on a day that drew many people to stores that were willing to feature a number of good specials. Its ads throughout the Christmas season were very anemic and pathetic. I am not surprised in the least to see this.

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