Walgreens Reports Better-Than-Expected Results for Q3

Quarter marked by more in-store visits and notable jump in loyalty program membership
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Walgreens Reports Better-Than-Expected Results for Q3
Walgreens attributed growth to overall higher traffic in stores, mass personalization and category-specific bumps in beauty and photo products.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has released its third quarter financial results showing increased store traffic with the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and a strong performance by its loyalty program.

First, the nitty-gritty: Compared to the third quarter of 2020, sales increased 12.1% this past fiscal quarter ending May 31 to reach $34.0 billion. The U.S. segment of the business reported a 5.1% increase in third quarter sales to $28.7 billion. On a year-to-date basis, overall WBA sales are up 7.2% for a total of $98.2 billion.

Meanwhile, comparable retail sales rose 1.7% from Q3 2020 to Q3 2021. The company attributed that growth to overall higher traffic in stores, mass personalization and category-specific bumps in beauty and photo products.

Rosalind Brewer, the CEO who joined WBA from Starbucks in March 2021, said that the quarterly financial results exceeded expectations and demonstrate continued momentum amid ongoing market challenges.

We are accelerating our investments to advance our operational excellence, including technology innovations that support mass personalization, pharmacy of the future and the next phase of growth in tech-enabled healthcare,” she said.

More shoppers visited Walgreens physical stores in the third fiscal quarter, with the opening up of local economies and the resumption of more normal activities. Many visits were tied to vaccinations, as Walgreens has administered more than 25 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date.

Another bright spot for the third quarter was the MyWalgreens loyalty program. Membership in MyWalgreens grew from 56 million in the second quarter to 75 million in the third quarter.

Looking ahead, WBA raised its guidance for the rest of the fiscal year, from mid-to-high single digit growth to around 10% growth. The company also announced that it is introducing Walgreens debit and credit cards in the United States in early fall as part of its expanded financial services offerings.

Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA division of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. The drug store chain operates more than 9,000 retail locations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, serving about 8 million customers daily. Walgreens is No. 5 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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