Walgreen on Track to Convert 5,500 Stores to CCR Model by Year's End

Drugstore retailer Walgreen is on track to convert 70% of the chain, about 5,500 stores, to its Consumer-Centric Retailing (CCR) model by the end of 2011. The CCR initiative includes both store renovations and back-end investments in systems for merchandising, category management, pricing and business processes.

"As we roll out our Customer-Centric Retailing initiative across the chain we're seeing improved sales, increased efficiencies, lower inventory and a better customer experience, evidenced by our improved customer satisfaction scores," said Greg Wasson, Walgreen president and CEO during a recent conference call discussing the retailer's first-quarter 2011 financial results. "We call it a four-way win."

The retailer has already converted or opened approximately 2,100 CCR stores, according to Wasson. In addition, "a lot of what we're doing in CCR now is embedded throughout the entire chain," he said. "We're continuing to see efficiencies in the stores themselves with more holding power of the best selling items and less stock room inventories. So therefore that's helping us with store labor."

In a conference call that took place in September, Wasson said the CCR store renovations carry an average cost of $50,000 per location and include optimizing and enhancing store product assortments, improving sight lines and refreshing stores with a new dÉcor package.

Walgreen had strong sales for the quarter that ended November 30, 2010. Sales increased 6.0% to a record $17.3 billion compared to the same period the previous year, although comp store sales increased only 0.8%. During the quarter, Walgreen opened or acquired 121 new stores for a net gain of 89 after relocations and closings. The retailer expects organic store growth of 2.5% to 3% in 2011.

For related content see: Walgreen 'Consumer-Centric Retailing' Remodels Carry $275 Million Price Tag
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