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Price Chopper to buy six Tops stores

BY Alaric DeArment

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Price Chopper plans to purchase six stores from Tops Friendly Markets, Price Chopper announced Thursday.

The acquisition of six P&C stores, which Price Chopper expects to complete in early April, would give the Schenectady, N.Y.-based  family-owned chain 125 stores in upstate New York and New England. One of the stores is in Lincoln, N.H., while the other five are in the northern New York towns of Canton, Gouverneur, Massena, Potsdam and West Carthage.

Tops purchased the stores as part of its acquisition of the assets of Penn Traffic Co., which declared bankruptcy in November. Tops also plans to close former Penn Traffic stores under the P&C and BiLo banners in Brandford, Vt., Hornell, N.Y., Blairsville, Pa., and Clarion, Pa.

“We look forward to serving the residents of the North Country of New York and in Lincoln, N.H., with our signature offers,” Price Chopper president and CEO Neil Golub said in a statement.

Price Chopper plans to open new stores in Warwick, N.Y., Middletown, Conn., and Shrewsbury, Mass., over the next year while expanding stores in the Vermont towns of Barre and Essex.

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Costco notes 11% jump in Q2

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. Costco got an 11% boost in sales for the second quarter of fiscal year 2010, compared with second quarter 2009, according to financial results announced Wednesday by the membership-based mass merchandising chain.

The company had $18.36 billion in sales, compared with $16.49 billion in second quarter 2009. Sales for the first half of fiscal year 2010 were $35.28 billion, an 8% increase over $32.52 in the second half of fiscal year 2009.

Profits for the quarter were $299 million, compared with $239 million in second quarter 2009, while year-to-date profits for the first half of the fiscal year were $565 million, compared with $502 million during the same period last year.

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Rite Aid reports drop in monthly sales

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid reported weak sales for the month of February.

For the five weeks ended Feb. 27, the drug store chain said Thursday its same-store sales, front-end same-store sales and pharmacy same-store sales all decreased 3.2%.

Rite Aid contributed its drop in pharmacy same-store sales were negatively impacted from new generic introductions. Prescriptions filled at comparable stores decreased 3.4% over the prior-year period.

Front-end and pharmacy same store sales were negatively impacted by a weaker cough, cold and flu season than in the like period last year, Rite Aid said. Front-end sales were also negatively affected by severe weather, especially in the northeast and south, and continued weak consumer demand.

Meanwhile, total drug store sales for the five-week period decreased 4.5% to $2.43 billion, compared with $2.55 billion for the same period last year. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.% of drugstore sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 95.8% of pharmacy sales.

As of Feb. 27, Rite Aid operated 4,780 stores, compared with 4,901 stores in the like period a year ago.

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