Duane Reade boosts Walgreen’s March sales 7%

By Bruce Japsen
Posted April 5 at 8:00 a.m.

Walgreen Co. said today its March sales rose 7.6 percent in March, helped in part by its acquisition last year of New York pharmacy chain Duane Reade.

The Deerfield-based drugstore giant reported March sales of $6.28 billion, compared to $5.83 billion in March of last year.

“Duane Reade stores, acquired in April 2010, contributed 2.8 percentage points to the total sales increase for the month,” Walgreens said in a statement.

Total front-end sales were up 8.4 percent, helped by 4.7 percentage points from the Duane Reade stores. Walgreens said sales were negatively affected by a later Easter holiday, which is on April 24 this year compared to April 4 last year.

“Despite the negative impact of this year’s later Easter, which falls on April 24 this year compared with April 4 last year, comparable store front-end sales increased 1.6 percent,” the company’s monthly sales announcement said.

The company said pharmacy sales were up 7.3 percent. Pharmacy sales accounted for 66 percent of total sales in March.

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