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RITE AID's PLANNED 31 STORE OPENINGS IN FOURTH QUARTER WILL BRING CHAIN TOTAL TO 1,400 AT END OF FY 1986; WALGREEN's FIRST QUARTER Rx SALES UP 27.9%

Executive Summary

Rite Aid plans to open at least 31 new drugstores in the fourth quarter, bringing the chain's total to 1,400 stores by the end of fiscal 1986, Rite Aid announced in a Jan. 6 press release reporting financial results for the third quarter ended Nov. 30. "Rite Aid continues aggressively to open new dr For the three months, Rite Aid reported that sales rose 12.5% over the same period a year ago to $400 mil. Net earnings, however, dropped nearly 8% to $14.2 mil. The chain's net earnings for the first nine months were $41.2 mil., almost unchanged from fiscal 1985, while volume was up 15.2%. Rite Aid also noted that it is eyeing further expansion in the South. The drug chain said it plans to build its fourth distribution center in Winnsboro, South Carolina. "When completed in the spring of 1987, the 265,000 square foot warehouse will serve Rite Aid drugstores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee," the release noted. "It will also facilitate greater expansion in the South." Walgreen's strong Rx sales during the first quarter helped boost corporate volume 14.3% for the three months ended Nov. 30. "Prescription sales were up 27.9%, marking the 18th consecutive quarter where prescription sales advances were greater than 20%," Walgreen President Fred Canning observed. Net earnings rose 10.4% to $17.2 mil. during the 13-week period, the release noted. During the quarter, Walgreen opened 38 new drugstores and acquired an additional 26 stores. "We plan to continue expanding in virtually all our major markets, opening at least 120 new stores this fiscal year and completing major remodeling in 70 stores," Chairman Charles Walgreen III said. The release noted that, as of Jan. 1, the company operated 1,259 drugstores and separate restaurants, compared to 1,133 a year ago. Chart omitted.

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