Walgreen (NASDAQ: WBA ) started 2014 in positive territory, for the most part. According to the company, for January its total sales were $6.39 billion, or almost 4% above the $6.17 billion of January 2013. Front-end (i.e., non-pharmacy goods) sales also advanced on an annual basis, by 2.4%, while pharmacy sales grew at a rate of 4.6%.
Comparable-store sales advanced 2.9% during the month when matched against those of the previous January. Front-end "comps" notched a 1.6% annual gain, while comparable pharmacy sales grew by 3.7% over the January 2013 number. Customer traffic on a comparable-store basis headed in the opposite direction, recording a 2.2% decline.
During the month, Walgreen opened 12 stores and shuttered three. The former tally includes three relocations. All told, at the end of the month the company's total store count was 8,678.