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Weis Markets Poised for Growth

Mid-Atlantic grocer plans record investments in 2024
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Weis Markets
Weis Markets will begin the construction of six new stores this year.

Before releasing its first-quarter financial earnings on March 8, Weis Markets Inc. held its Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Sunbury, Pa., where Chairman, President and CEO Jonathan H. Weis updated shareholders on the company’s long-term capital expenditure growth program.

“We plan for record investments in 2024, when we will begin the construction of six new stores, which we expect to open in 2025,” said Weis. “In addition, we have planned 11 major store remodels and 15 minor store remodels, along with five new fuel centers. We will also continue to make sizable technology investments across the company, which help us drive profitable sales.”

Recent examples of the grocer's focus on technology include a new partnership with Uber Eats to provide on-demand and scheduled grocery delivery at 185 of the Mid-Atlantic grocer’s locations.

Weis also implemented high-tech salad bars in York and Bellefonte, Pa., locations. Provided by Swedish company Picadeli, the innovative salad bars feature digital signage and touchscreens to display the nutritional value of all ingredients, as well as temperature-controlled food compartments that ensure optimal food safety and reduce waste. The partnership includes plans to expand to six additional Pennsylvania and Maryland stores. 

Meanwhile, Weis increased net sales by 2.9% in its first quarter. Net sales totaled $1.18 billion for the 13-week first quarter ended March 30, 2024, compared with $1.14 billion for the 13-week first quarter ended April 1, 2023. Q1 comparable-store sales excluding fuel rose 3.3% on an individual year-over-year basis and grew 6.9% on a two-year stacked basis. The company estimates that its net sales increased $14.0 million because of the Easter holiday occurring in Q1 2024 compared with Q2 2023.

The company’s Q1 net income totaled $23.17 million compared with $25.81 million in 2023, down 10.3%. Q1 earnings per share totaled 86 cents compared with 96 cents per share in 2023.

“Our first-quarter 2024 results, which benefited from the Easter holiday shift, are in line with our expectations, thanks to the continuing efforts of associates at every level of our company,” explained Weis. “We continue to navigate marketplace trends of product cost and third-party services inflation, declining government benefits and the increasing mix of our pharmacy retail business, which has a lower margin than our grocery business. In addition, we increased investments in our associates, technologies and facilities that improve efficiencies and enhance customer experience.”

The company’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 34 cents per share to shareholders of record as of May 13, payable on May 28.

Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 196 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. The company is No. 60 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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