Ingles Markets plans to provide paid time for its fully vaccinated associates.
As COVID-19 cases once again spike across the country, Ingles Markets Inc. has revealed plans to provide paid time for its fully vaccinated associates. Full-time associates will receive 10 hours of paid time and part-time associates will receive five hours of paid time once they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Other retailers providing incentives for workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine include Cincinnati-based Kroger, which is offering a $100 bonus, and Lidl, with U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, which is providing $200 in extra pay. Food delivery company Shipt, based in Birmingham, Alabama, also launched a Vaccine Payment Program that provides $50 in stipends to its shoppers, while San Francisco-based Instacart's eligible shoppers and in-store teams receive $25 as part of the company's Vaccine Support Stipend.
Meanwhile, each of Ingles’ pharmacies in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee is administering COVID-19 vaccines. Availability can vary, so customers can register for vaccination online or can call the pharmacy at a nearby store.
Ingles has also hosted vaccination clinics at its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Black Mountain, North Carolina, for its associates.
In other news, Ingles’ board of directors recently authorized the repurchase of up to an aggregate of 2 million shares of its Class A and Class B Common Stock. Ingles had about 14.2 million Class A shares outstanding and 6 million Class B shares outstanding as of March 19. The retailer is using existing cash and cash flow from operations and other financing to fund the initiative.
For the first quarter of fiscal year 2021, the company’s net sales came to $1.19 billion, a 10.4% increase compared with the $1.08 billion logged for the year-ago period. Its gross profit was $314.2 million, or 26.4% of sales, versus $257.5 million, or 23.9% of sales, last year.