Same-store sales tailed off in the latest results from the nation's three largest drug store chains.

same-store sales, April, drug store chains, drug store, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, CVS Caremark, Russell Redman, Duane Reade, Longs Drug Stores

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Drug chains experience slowdown in same-store sales

May 5th, 2010

NEW YORK – Same-store sales tailed off in the latest results from the nation's three largest drug store chains.

Walgreen Co. and Rite Aid Corp. posted declined same-store revenue in April, with both retailers citing this year's earlier Easter as a negative impact on sales.

CVS Caremark, which doesn't report monthly sales results, saw a 2.3% year-over-year gain in same-store sales for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended March 31, but that was down from increases of 4.9% and 5.7%, respectively, in the previous two quarters.

At Walgreens, comparable-store sales fell 0.2% in April, down from a 2.3% gain in March and a 0.4% uptick in February. The April figure reflects a 1.1% increase in the pharmacy and a 2.6% drop in the front end.

Walgreens noted that the recently acquired Duane Reade stores weren't included in the comparable-store results but contributed 2.2 percentage points to a 5.9% increase in overall sales for April.

Rite Aid, meanwhile, reported a 1% decline in same-store sales for the four weeks ended April 24. The retailer had posted flat same-store results in March after reporting declines of 3.2% in February and 2.1% in January.

In April, Rite Aid's comparable-store sales were down 0.9% in the pharmacy and 1.2% in the front of the store.

For its first quarter, CVS Caremark saw pharmacy same-store revenue climb 3.7%, less than increases of 7.3% and 8% in the prior two quarters. Same-store results in the front end fell 0.7% in the first quarter, versus gains of 0.3% and 0.8% in the previous two quarters. The company said the inclusion of stores from the Longs Drug Stores acquisition negatively impacted front-end results in the first quarter.