Weis Markets Sees Q1 Customer, Sales Surge From Coronavirus
In common with many other food retailers, Weis Markets Inc. has posted financial results considerably affected by the onset of the coronavirus epidemic in mid-March, which it said resulted in “a significant surge in customer count and sales,” while the company’s “January and February sales were impacted by a mild winter compared to 2019.”
Weis Markets logged a 12.4% sales increase to $985.8 million during its 13-week first quarter ended March 28, compared with the same period in 2019, while Q1 comparable-store sales grew 12.8%. Adjusting for the pandemic's impact, the company estimated that its comps increased 1.5% from the year-ago period.
The company’s Q1 net income rose 86.6% to $26.7 million, versus $14.3 million in the year-ago period, while earnings per share came to 99 cents, compared with 53 cents per share for the same period in 2019.
“Our team quickly adapted to this changed market environment and resulting supplier disruptions by accelerating and increasing replenishment shipments to our stores and implementing a comprehensive COVID-19 prevention program in our stores, distribution, manufacturing and support facilities to provide a safe shopping and working environment,” noted Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We carry a profound sense of sadness for those who are suffering or have lost their lives during this pandemic, and a tremendous appreciation for the essential Weis Markets associates who come to work each day, providing the products and services that are allowing our customers to stay at home and help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.”
In other company news, Weis Markets launched its 13th annual Fight Hunger in-store donation program on April 30. At checkout, customers can round up their order to the next whole dollar dollar or purchase a $1, $3, $5 or $10 voucher to help support needy local families. To date, the initiative has raised more than $2.5 million, supplemented by company donations.
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.