May sales jump 5.9% at Walgreens

DEERFIELD, Ill. One of the nation's largest drug store chains garnered $5.7 billion in sales for the month of May, a 5.9% increase from the year-ago period.

Walgreens said that its spike in sales for the month were attributed to its acquisition of Duane Reade earlier this year, which contributed 2.9 percentage points to the total sales increase for the month. Sales in comparable stores (those open at least a year) decreased 0.2%, although Duane Reade stores are not included in comparable-store sales.

For May, pharmacy sales saw a 4.2% gain, while comparable-pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by the calendar day shifts, decreasing 0.4%. Prescription sales also rose 1.1% for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 9% in May, including 4.8 percentage points from Duane Reade front-end sales. Comparable store front-end sales increased 0.3%.

As of May 31, calendar year-to-date sales were $27.86 billion, an increase of 4.9% from $26.57 billion in 2009, while fiscal 2010 year-to-date sales for the first nine months were $50.56 billion, up 6.1% from $47.63 billion.

Walgreens opened 17 stores during May, including three relocations, and acquired one. At May 31, Walgreens operated 8,019 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. That includes 7,522 drug stores, 665 more than a year ago, including 286 stores acquired over the last 12 months.