Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Have a flu shot, spend some more

September 14, 2010

flushot1Check out the impact of signs the U.S. flu season may be weaker this year.

Drug stores such as Walgreen, CVS and Rite Aid are offering flu shots earlier and more conveniently to keep sales from slumping with no expected H1N1 outbreak this year along the lines of last year.

Last year, consumers came for flu shots and bought other items as well, but those related sales could suffer this year. Walgreen, for example, said lower demand for flu-related prescriptions cut 0.3 percentage point from its same-store sales growth in August.

This year, drug stores began promoting flu shots in late August, a week earlier than last year.

Making it tougher for drug stores are rivals like grocery stores (Supervalu and Kroger), and big-box retailers (Target) have been offering flu shots as well.

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(Reuters photo)

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