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Walgreens executives outline growth strategies at annual meeting


Deerfield, Ill. -- Walgreens’ chairman Alan G. McNally, president and CEO Gregory D. Wasson and executive VP and CFO Wade D. Miquelon on Wednesday outlined the company’s strategies for growth and value creation for shareholders at the chain’s annual shareholders meeting.

“As our broad-based transformation continued to accelerate and gain momentum, fiscal 2011 was a year of strong performance for Walgreens with record sales and earnings, double-digit growth in earnings per share in all four quarters and a dividend increase of more than 28% – the largest in the company’s history,’ McNallly said.

Walgreens for fiscal 2011 recorded $72.2 billion in sales, $20.5 billion in gross profit and $2.94 in earnings per diluted share. In addition, cash flow from operations was $3.6 billion.

CEO Wasson told shareholders that Walgreens is stepping out of the traditional drug store format and creating “something unique, new and special.

“Our opportunity now is to combine the best locations in America with an outstanding customer and patient experience – what we call the ‘Well Experience,” he said. “Our new pilot drugstore format supports our vision of becoming My Walgreens for everyone in America, the first choice for health and daily living.”

Walgreens latest example of its “Well Experience” stores is its new flagship in Chicago’s Loop. The store features an enhanced, state-of-the-art pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients; a Take Care Clinic offering a wide range of health care services including vaccinations, health tests, physicals and treatments for common illnesses and minor injuries; an Upmarket Café featuring a juice bar and fresh hand-rolled sushi; and a Look Boutique beauty department featuring dozens of prestige and niche cosmetic, skincare and hair care brands not typically found in drugstores.

The pilot program for Walgreens “Well Experience” store format includes more than 20 locations in the Chicago area. On Jan. 19, the company takes the next step with its “Well Experience” format when it celebrates the grand re-opening of all of its Indianapolis market stores, which recently finished their conversion to the new pilot format.

“With these innovative changes, we can more easily and quickly expand the scope of services we can offer in our drugstores, such as immunizations and vaccinations, and acute and primary care,” Wasson said. “This is what we mean when we say we are advancing the role community pharmacy plays in health care in America.”

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