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Walgreens’ comps garner positive numbers in August

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens saw a 7.8% sales gain during August, the retailer reported Tuesday.

Total front-end sales increased 6.8% in August and basket size increased 2.3%, Walgreens said.

Comparable-store sales rose across the board — thanks to positive calendar day shifts — including a 2.5% increase in customer traffic at comparable stores, a 4.8% increase in comparable total front-end sales, a 6.1% rise in comparable pharmacy sales and a 5.2% increase in prescriptions filled at comparable stores. Overall, sales in comparable stores (those open at least a year) increased 5.6%.

The retailer reported that flu shots administered season-to-date at pharmacies and clinics totaled more than 300,000.

Walgreens noted that Hurricane Irene had no significant net effect on total sales.

For the month, Walgreens opened 21 stores, including three relocations, acquired three stores and closed three, for a net increase of 18 in the month.

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Weis kicks off annual hunger relief campaign

BY Allison Cerra

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis is highlighting hunger relief with its fourth annual, month-long campaign that encourages customers to donate shelf-stable products and make monetary donations to local food banks and emergency food providers.

For its annual Fight Hunger Food Drive, Weis said that customers may contribute to hunger relief efforts in the following ways:

  • Donate such shelf-stable items as cereal, apple sauce, pasta, granola bars, 100% fruit juice, canned foods (i.e., beans, chicken, fish, etc.) and more;

  • Donating $3, $5 and/or $10 vouchers, which can be purchased at any Weis cash register. All of the proceeds will be given to area food banks in the form of gift card donations; and

  • A convenient prefilled Fight Hunger Donation Bag also will be available at stores, containing pasta, sauce, fruit, vegetables, tuna, cereal and soup — all for less than $10.

Weis said that as part of its campaign, which runs through Oct. 1, the retailer will match its customer donations with a $200,000 corporate donation. The program will run across stores in in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia and New York.

"The demand for food bank services continues to grow and we want to help," Weis president and CEO David Hepfinger said. "Our Fight Hunger Food Drive gives our customers and associates a simple and effective way to support twelve food banks and the hundreds of emergency food providers they serve. We will also complement our customers’ generosity with donations of our own."

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Target donates $250K to Hurricane Irene relief efforts

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS — Target announced its commitment to assist with Hurricane Irene relief efforts through a donation totaling $250,000 in cash and products.

The retailer said that the donations will be distributed among such relief agencies as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. What’s more, Target also is giving gift cards and 10,000 relief kits — which include bottled water, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and nonperishable food items — to several local, regional and national nonprofits.

Target closed 117 stores ahead of the storm, which hit the East Coast last week.

“Target is proud to be a resource for our communities, and we’re committed to aiding those affected by Hurricane Irene in this time of need,” Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. “Our team supports local recovery responses by volunteering and donating product and funds, in addition to making sure our stores closest to the disaster area are able to offer needed supplies.”

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