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Chawla to fill new Walgreens e-commerce post

BY DSN STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has named Sona Chawla to the new position of senior vp of e-commerce, effective July 1. Chawla joins Walgreens from Dell, where she was vp of global online business.

In her new position, Chawla will oversee a team dedicated to building the sales, service and customer experience of Walgreens.com, while driving store traffic through the Web site and growing online profitability.

Before joining Dell in 2006, Chawla worked at Wells Fargo & Company from 2000 to 2006. She started with Wells Fargo as senior vp of enterprise Internet services, was named evp of Web channel management in 2003 and evp of online sales, service and marketing in 2005.

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Rite Aid reports increased monthly same-store sales

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid experienced same-store sales increases last month, the chain announced Thursday.

For the five-week period ended May 31, Rite Aid posted an increase of 1.3 percent compared with the year-ago period. Total drug store sales during that period totaled $2.5 billion, a 47.9 percent increase over last year’s $1.7 billion.

Sales during the 13-week quarter ending May 31 increased by 1.5 percent, while pharmacy same-store sales increased by 1.4 percent, and front-end same-store sales increased by 1.7 percent. Total drug store sales for the quarter were $6.6 billion, a 48.5 percent increase.

Sales figures did not include those from Brooks-Eckerd stores. Rite Aid acquired the Brooks-Eckerd chain in June of last year and will not factor it into same-store sales until it releases figures for this month.

Rite Aid operates 5,004 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, making it one of the country’s largest drug store chains.

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Longs posts increase in year-on-year sales

BY Drew Buono

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. Longs Drugs has released its reported preliminary total retail drug store sales for the four-week and seventeen-week periods ended May 29, 2008.

The company reported preliminary sales of $374 million for the four-week period, up 0.2 percent from the year-ago period. For the 17-week period, total sales reached $1.6 billion, up 2.3 percent from a year ago.

Longs estimated that preliminary May pharmacy same-store sales fell by 2.6 percent in May, as a result of recent generic introductions being substituted for higher-priced brand name drugs. In addition, a reduction in cold, flu, and allergy prescriptions, primarily due to the impact of the switch of the prescription allergy medicine Zyrtec to over-the-counter status furthered the decrease.

The company also estimated that preliminary May same-store sales, which include non-pharmacy items, fell 1.4 percent in the four weeks ended May 29.

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