Village Super Market Sees Improved Q3

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- Citing improved sales and lower operating expenses as a percentage of sales, Village Super Market, Inc. here yesterday posted net income for latest quarter of $4.9 million, a surge of 21 percent from last year.

The retailer reported sales of $255,314,000 for the quarter, ended April 28, 2007, a rise of 4.3 percent from the year-ago period. Same-store sales likewise grew 4.3 percent, the chain said. Higher sales in the recently revamped Springfield and Bernardsville, N.J. stores and the Somers Point, N.J. replacement store contributed to the revenue increase.

Additionally, same-store sales during the quarter benefited by comparison with a soft year-ago period, which the retailer attributed to the nature and timing of a three-month customer loyalty program introduced in October 2005 during the second quarter of fiscal 2006.

Village Super Market c.f.o. Kevin Begley explained to Progressive Grocer that the promotion allowed shoppers who accumulated enough points to save up to 50 percent on a shopping order, thereby spurring customers to make multiple purchases of such stock-up items as razor blades. This purchasing activity ultimately pulled sales from the subsequent quarter, thus leading to a soft year-ago period vs. the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

These improvements were partly offset by lower sales in two stores because of two competitive store openings, according to the retailer. Another competitive store opening occurred in early last month and is expected to affect the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, Village Super Market said.

Net income came to $14,171,000 in the nine-month period of fiscal 2007, a jump of 24 percent from last year, while sales for the nine-month period of fiscal 2007 were $777,179,000, a 3.0 percent rise over the prior year. Same-store sales also increased 3.0 percent.

Village Super Market operates 23 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.
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