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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers October 23, 2017
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmaceutical News - Kicking the habit - October 23, 2017

Pharmacy News Article

 5/16/17 - Kicking the habit

Is CVS Health still going through nicotine withdrawal? The drugstore chain saw sales drop again in the first quarter from the front end of its stores, or the area outside the pharmacy. Sales at stores open at least a year fell almost 5 percent compared to last year's quarter.

Front-end sales have dropped nearly every quarter since CVS stopped selling tobacco in 2014 and pulled cigarettes and cigars from high-profile shelves behind the cashier.

Even so, tobacco withdrawal may have run its course. Sales declines have slowed and there were other factors behind the first-quarter drop. Easter, which brings in candy shoppers, fell in April this year, so it didn't help first-quarter results.

Jeff Jonas, a Gabelli Funds portfolio manager, said the ongoing slump is a result of a challenge all drugstores face: Fewer customer visits.

Drugstores have reduced promotions that bring in business but can hurt profitability. They've also pushed more profitable health and beauty items.

"It's a tough environment for all retailers, but these guys are doing a really good job of protecting their profit margins," Jonas said.

© © Copyright 2017, The News & Advance, Lynchburg, VA

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