Walgreens same-store sales up 5.3% in September

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Deerfield, Ill. Walgreen Co. said September same-store sales jumped 5.3%, aided by in-store flu vaccinations and shoppers filling more 90-day prescriptions.

Sales of general merchandise, which have suffered as consumers curb non-essential spending, climbed 2%, the first increase since May.

Pharmacy same-store sales rose 7%. The number of prescriptions filled at existing stores jumped 12%, including 5.2% points due to pharmacists administering seasonal flu shots.

Such sales also got a 1.4% point boost from more patients filling 90-day prescriptions, which count as three 30-day prescriptions in the month that they are filled.

Retailers kicked off their seasonal flu vaccinations earlier than usual this year amid raised awareness of the flu with the H1N1 pandemic.