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Executive Summary

THRIFT/TREASURY CHAIN SALES REACH $1.19 BIL. IN 1991, up 8.6% from the previous year, according to a breakdown of the drug store business in parent J. C. Penney's recently-released annual report. Although the growth rate of the drug business declined from the previous year (when sales advanced 11.2%), Penney's drug operations were by far the most robust sector of the retailer's corporate mix. The general merchandise/clothing retail business declined in sales from $14.6 bil. in 1990 to $14.3 bil. Penney's total drug business (including catalog sales) was $1.28 bil., indicating catalog sales of $90 mil. attributed to that sector. The chain operated 530 drug stores at the end of 1991, up 43 stores from the year before. The extra units increased Penney's gross selling space in the drug business to 5 mil. sq. ft. -- the average size of the Penney's drug stores is just under 9,500 sq. ft. The sales per sq. ft. figure climbed to $271, up from $258 in 1990 and $250 in 1989. The drug store sales per sq. ft. are more than double the comparable figure in Penney's general merchandise business, where the 1990 figure was $125.

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