Retail sales decreased 0.9% due to declines in the consumables and general merchandise category and in the personal care category, partially offset by increases in the health and wellness category and beauty category. Since the end of the first quarter, the company has completed the first phase of the rollout of its new, differentiated beauty offering in more than 1,800 stores.
“Overall we are pleased with the progress this quarter, with results in line with our expectations,” said executive vice chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina. “We continue to anticipate that growth in the second half of fiscal 2017 will reflect the new strategic pharmacy partnerships we announced last year. As a result, we have raised the lower end of our fiscal year guidance by 5 cents per share. In addition, we continue to work toward closing the pending acquisition of Rite Aid Corporation in the early part of this calendar year.”
Walgreens Boots Alliance is actively engaged in discussions with the Federal Trade Commission regarding its pending acquisition of Rite Aid Corporation. The company is working toward a close of the acquisition in the early part of this calendar year. The transaction is subject to the expiration or termination of applicable waiting periods under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.
As announced in December 2016, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid have entered into an agreement to sell 865 Rite Aid stores and certain assets related to store operations to Fred’s, Inc. for $950 million in an all-cash transaction. The divestiture transaction is subject to FTC approval, the approval and completion of the pending acquisition of Rite Aid by Walgreens Boots Alliance and other customary closing conditions.