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NEW YORK CITY-Same-store sales for two of the country’s leading drug store chains, CVS Inc. and Walgreen Co., soared year over year in August. Walgreen posted a 10.6% increase during the month, while comparable sales at CVS rose 8.9%.

Pharmacy sales for both chains were both up in the double digits year over year. Walgreen’s pharmacy’s reported a 13% jump, and the department was up 10.6% at CVS units. Pharmacy sales accounted for 66.5% of Walgreen’s total revenues and 70.4% at CVS. Front-end-store sales at Deerfield, IL-based Walgreen rose 8.9% and at CVS, based in Woonsocket, RI, they increased 5.8%.

Total sales came in at nearly $4.2 billion for Walgreen, up 17.2% from the same period last year. At CVS, they rose 23.4%, to $3.4 billion. Walgreen finished the month with 5,461 units, and CVS had 6,163.

Same-store sales for the full year are up at both chains. Year-to-date they have risen 7.8% at Walgreen and 7.9% at CVS.

The sales results come as Rite Aid, the Camp Hill, PA-based rival of both chains, is buying just over 1,800 Brooks and Eckerd units from the Jean Coutu Group. The Coutu Group bought its share of the Eckerd chain from J.C. Penney in April 2004 for $2.38 billion. CVS acquired the other 1,260 units in the chain during the same period for $2.15 billion.

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