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Walgreens September sales totaled $6.5 billion, representing an increase of 9.4%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens had September sales of $6.5 billion, an increase of 9.4% as compared with the same month in fiscal 2014, the company reported Friday.
 
Total front-end sales increased 2.2% in September compared with the same month in fiscal 2014, while comparable store front-end sales increased 1.7%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.7% while basket size increased 4.4%.
 
Prescriptions filled at comparable stores increased by 6.6% in September and increased 3.9% on a calendar day-shift adjusted basis. September 2014 had one additional Tuesday and one fewer Sunday compared with September 2013. These calendar shifts positively impacted prescriptions filled at comparable stores by 270 basis points.
 
September pharmacy sales increased by 14.2%. Comparable store pharmacy sales increased 11.3% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 8.6%. Calendar day-shift adjusted comparable store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 190 basis points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months. Pharmacy sales accounted for 67.8% of total sales for the month.
 
Flu shots administered at pharmacies and clinics season to date were more than 2.1 million versus approximately 1.9 million last year.
 
Sales in comparable stores increased by 7.9% in September. Calendar day shifts positively impacted total comparable sales by 180 basis points. Generic drug introductions in the last 12 months negatively impacted total comparable sales by 130 basis points.
 
Calendar 2014 year-to-date sales for the first nine months were $57.4 billion, an increase of 6.1%. Walgreens opened nine stores during September, including four relocations, and closed four.
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IT Cosmetics debuts co-branded makeup brush collections at Ulta

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — IT Cosmetics and Ulta Beauty have inked an exclusive partnership and launched a first-of-its-kind makeup brush co-brand, IT Brushes for Ulta.

IT Cosmetics partnered with Ulta to craft an exclusive offering of three distinct makeup brush collections, featuring a total of 56 custom-cut brushes plus nine brush sets. The brushes collections are 100% cruelty free and animal free.

"Ulta Beauty's collaboration with IT Cosmetics is a best in class example of our commitment to collaborating with the top beauty brands to deliver our customers innovative and exclusive products only we can offer," stated Janet Taake, chief merchandising officer, Ulta Beauty.  "IT Brushes for Ulta boast the exceptional design and superior quality making them an essential beauty must-have that will surely excite our guests."

The IT Brushes for Ulta collection can be experienced in-store at the new IT Brush Boutique in stores, as well as online through a dedicated microsite brand page featuring enhanced video content, tips and education.

The brush collections: the Airbrush Essentials Collection, the Live Beauty Fully Inspired Collection and the Velvet Luxe Blurring Collection. The full brush assortment features a total of 56 custom-cut brushes from foundation paddle brushes to powder kabukis, plus nine signature travel brush sets designed to suit every need. The newly installed, fully lit IT Brush Boutiques will also be comprised of special endcap fixtures where the top 12 "Must-Have" brushes will be featured and promoted.

The full IT Brushes for Ulta assortment is now available in 500-plus stores, as well as online. A more limited assortment of the collections' top 12 "must-have" brushes will be available in select locations nationwide.
 

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M&M’s consumer favorite will return to retail shelves

BY Ryan Chavis

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Chocolate North America on Thursday announced the return of a consumer favorite. M&M's Crispy Milk Chocolate Candies will begin appearing on store shelves again in January 2015, following a 10-year absence. 
 
The crispy confection features a crispy center, covered in milk chocolate and enclosed in a candy shell. The candy is slightly larger than the original milk chocolate variety, the company noted, and will appear in a new bright green bag. M&M's Crispy made its debut in 1998 as a limited-edition item. According to the company's records, the candy is the No. 1 Mars variant that was requested to be "brought back."
 
“When M&M’S fans talk, we listen. And consumers have made it clear that M&M’S Crispy are so irresistible, we had to bring them back,” said Seth Klugherz, senior director, M&M’S chocolate candies. “We’re sure existing fans will be thrilled to see M&M’S Crispy back in stores coast to coast, but we’re just as excited to introduce this delicious product to a new generation of chocolate lovers.”
 
M&M's Crispy will be available in singles, sharing size and medium laydown bags. 
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