Weis Markets Sees Comps Rise for 16th Straight Quarter
Reporting its quarter-one sales for fiscal 2018, Weis Markets said it enjoyed its 16th straight quarter of growth in comparable-store sales, bolstered by enhanced efficiency at the store level.
Benefiting from the Easter sales week, Weis Markets Inc. reported a Q1 sales increase of 2.8 percent to $876.1 million, compared with the same period in 2017, while comps, adjusted for the holiday shift, edged up 1.5 percent.
The company noted that the Easter sales week occurred in the last week of the first quarter, while the slow post-Easter sales week occurred in the second quarter. Last year, both the Easter and post-Easter weeks fell in the second quarter.
During the 13-week period ending March 31, Weis Markets’ net income grew 36.8 percent to $16.2 million, versus $11.8 million for year-ago period, while first-quarter earnings per share rose 36.4 percent to 60 cents, compared with 44 cents in 2017. The grocer’s first-quarter operating income increased 12.8 percent to $22.8 million.
“Our operating income was positively impacted by store improvements in overall efficiency levels, particularly with inventory management, which resulted in an improved store gross profit rate and our 16th consecutive quarter of comparable-store sales increases,” said Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “Our operating income also benefited from store labor efficiencies, in which multiple winter-weather events were a contributing factor, and improvements to some of our key marketing and advertising programs. We look to build on our momentum in the coming months.”
At its annual shareholder's meeting last month, the company unveiled a $101 million growth plan for the construction of two new stores, 20 remodels, four pharmacies and one fuel center. The first new store opened in Nottingham, Md., in April. Weis Markets has also expanded and upgraded its Weis 2 Go online ordering service with curbside pickup, recently rolling out the service to 25 more stores, for a total of 79 locations.
Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 206 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.