Weis Markets intends to continue to invest in new stores, remodels, fuel centers, information technology upgrades and more than 1,000 smaller store improvement projects.
Weis Markets Inc. has reported that its sales increased 2.1% to $1.0 billion during the 13-week period ended March 27, compared with the same period in 2020, while first-quarter comparable-store sales increased 1.4%.
Meanwhile, the retailer's first-quarter net income decreased 9.1% to $24.3 million, compared with $26.7 million in 2020, while earnings per share totaled 90 cents compared with 99 cents per share for the same period in 2020.
Like other food retailers, Weis Markets is now experiencing waning grocery sales compared with the surge during the same period last year as a result of pandemic panic buying.
"The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic on March 11, 2020, which resulted in restaurant, business and school closings, while other companies transitioned to working remotely," said Jonathan H. Weis, chairman, president and CEO. "The result was a record surge in demand for food retailers."
For fiscal 2020, Weis Markets reported total sales of more than $4.1 billion, up 16.1% compared with the same period a year ago, while annual comps increased 16.4%. Income from operations increased $78.5 million, or 92.8% over the same period in 2019, to $163.2 million.
"Our first-quarter 2021 results remained significantly elevated in absolute terms and were in line with expectations, with sales up 14.8% and net income up 69.6% compared to the pre-pandemic levels in first quarter 2019, which is a more appropriate baseline for comparison," said Weis. "We are extremely proud of what our associates accomplished throughout the pandemic. During these challenging and evolving times, we remain well positioned to meet the needs of our customers and communities while continuing to deliver value to our shareholders."
To help with this positioning, Weis Markets revealed a $135 million cap ex program last week. According to Weis, the company intends to continue to invest in new stores, remodels, fuel centers, information technology upgrades and more than 1,000 smaller store improvement projects.
The retailer also has eight remodels and eight fuel centers planned for 2021. While these projects will begin in 2021, some may not be completed until 2022.