Sales Down At Ahold's U.S. Chains

AMSTERDAM Ahold last week said same-store sales at its Tops, Giant-Landover and Stop & Shop divisions declined in the low single-digits in the fourth quarter, while the Giant-Carlisle banner continued to outperform its siblings with a 3.1% gain. The company also said profit margins at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover were impacted by the new value-pricing program at the chains. Last week Stop & Shop

AMSTERDAM — Ahold last week said same-store sales at its Tops, Giant-Landover and Stop & Shop divisions declined in the low single-digits in the fourth quarter, while the Giant-Carlisle banner continued to outperform its siblings with a 3.1% gain.

The company also said profit margins at Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover were impacted by the new value-pricing program at the chains.

Last week Stop & Shop and Giant-Landover broke ads promoting price cuts in the baby aisle as part of the Value Improvement Program at the banners, which uses edited selections and internal cost reductions to fund lower everyday prices. The banners previously rolled out EDLP in their produce and paper aisles.

Same-store sales at Stop & Shop were down 1.5% in the fourth quarter and 1.3% for the year. At Giant-Landover, same-store sales slid 2.1% in the fourth quarter and 1.6% in the full year. Total sales for the combined Stop & Shop-Giant-Landover chains were up 0.1%, to $3.8 billion, for the fourth quarter, and 0.6%, to $16.4 billion, for the year.

At the Tops division, which Ahold is seeking to sell, same-store sales declined 2.9% in the quarter and 5.5% for the year. Total sales in the Giant-Carlisle-Tops division were down 2.7% for the quarter, to $1.4 billion, and 3.3% for the year, to $6 billion. The company exited its 46-store Northeast Ohio Tops division last year.

Overall, Ahold said its sales for the fourth quarter rose 3% at constant currency exchange rates, to about $13.5 billion. For the full year, sales were $58.5 billion, up 2.7% at constant exchange rates.

Excluding the currency fluctuations, sales decreased 3% for the fourth quarter and rose 2% for the year.