Thanks to targeted holiday promotions via its loyalty marketing program, along with ongoing store-level efficiency and price optimization improvements, Weis Markets Inc.’s sales during its 13-week fourth quarter ended Dec. 28, 2019, rose 1.1% to $902.4 million versus the same period in 2018, while its fourth-quarter comparable-store sales grew 1.4%.
Income from the grocer’s operations in the fourth quarter came to $23 million, compared with $15.5 million in the year-ago period. Weis Markets’ Q4 net income soared 42.6% to $18.9 million, from $13.2 million in 2018, while earnings per share totaled 70 cents, versus 49 cents per share for the same period in 2018.
The company posted total sales of more than $3.5 billion for the 52-week period ended Dec. 28, 2019, up 1% from the same period last year, while annual comps edged up 1.5%. Income from operations grew $2 million, or 2.4%, to $84.6 million over the same period in 2018.
Weis Markets’ net income for fiscal year 2019 rose 8.4% to $68 million, from $62.7 million in the year-ago period, while earnings per share for the same period climbed 20 cents to $2.53 per share.
The company’s 2019 sales and comps continued to benefit from investments in its Low, Low Price (LLP) program, which slashes prices on 7,000 private-brand items. Weis Markets’ sales additionally benefited from targeted loyalty marketing programs, varied promotions and advertising in key markets.
“We made significant forward progress in 2019 by driving sales with targeted merchandising and marketing programs, significant price investments, and improved in-store execution, which sustains our growth program,” affirmed Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “The result was a 1.5% increase in annual comparable-store sales in 2019. During the year, we also expanded online ordering with in-store pickup and home delivery to 184 stores, which resulted in more than 250,000 orders and a 115.4% increase in online sales.”
Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 197 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia. The company is No. 26 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.