Stater Bros. Margin Investment Sinks Q2 Earnings

Stater Bros. Markets said yesterday it plans to continue investing gross margin to retain and grow its customer base. That approach is working, Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, told investors in a conference call, noting that the chain's customer count increased by 3.1 million in 2008, “and over the last 19 weeks, the count is up 1.6 million” over year-ago levels. Net income

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Markets here said yesterday it plans to continue investing gross margin to retain and grow its customer base.

That approach is working, Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, told investors in a conference call, noting that the chain's customer count increased by 3.1 million in 2008, “and over the last 19 weeks, the count is up 1.6 million” over year-ago levels.

Net income for the 13-week second quarter that ended March 2

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