During the second quarter, the company opened one new store and remodeled one store, ending the quarter with a total store count of 161 stores in 20 states.
Natural Grocers reported lower revenue and same-store sales in the second quarter, the latest grocer to experience cycling of 2020 pandemic gains.
For the second quarter ended March 31, Natural Grocers said net sales decreased 6.6% to $259.2 million; same-store sales decreased 7%; on a two-year stacked basis, comparable store sales increased 10%; operating income was $6.7 million compared to $13.3 million the prior year; and diluted earnings per share was 21 cents compared to 43 cents in the prior year period. Gross profit during the second quarter decreased 7.7% to $71.8 million.
"We delivered earnings within our expectations despite severe weather-related challenges and lapping extremely difficult comparisons due to the initial pandemic sales surge we experienced in the second quarter of fiscal 2020," said Kemper Isely, co-president. "Our strong engagement with our customers and communities, coupled with our steadfast focus on providing the highest quality, healthy foods at an Always Affordable PriceSM continues to resonate with consumers. We are grateful for the commitment of all of our good4uSM Crew members and we continue to prioritize the safety of our customers and crew amidst the COVID-19 pandemic."
The daily average same-store sales decrease during the second quarter reflected a 13.9% decrease in daily average transaction count, partially offset by an 8% increase in daily average transaction size. This reflects a continuation of the trends the company experienced over the last year as customers practiced social distancing efforts with larger but less frequent shopping trips.
Store expenses during the second quarter of fiscal 2021 increased 2.7%, to $58.4 million. Store expenses as a percentage of net sales increased to 22.5% during the second quarter of fiscal 2021, compared to 20.5% in the second quarter of fiscal 2020. The increase in store expenses as a percentage of net sales was attributed to the deleverage associated with the decrease in sales volume and increased labor-related expenses.
As of March 31, the company had $21 million in cash and cash equivalents, no outstanding balance on the company's $50 million revolving credit facility and $34.6 million outstanding on the fully drawn term loan facility.
During the second quarter, the company opened one new store and remodeled one store, ending the quarter with a total store count of 161 stores in 20 states. The company opened two new stores in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.
As of May 6, the retailer has signed leases for five new stores, which will be located in Colorado, Missouri, Nevada and Oregon. These new stores are planned to open during fiscal 2021 and beyond.
Last month the grocery chain introduced a new expanded line of private label supplements. The line features more than 100 vitamins, herbs, minerals and precision formulas that are accessibly priced while providing high-quality ingredients and third-party certified Good Manufacturing Practices.