LOS ANGELES — Increased competition and a slowing economy led to decreased quarterly sales at Arden Group, parent of the Gelson’s Markets chain, Arden said Tuesday. Net income of $6.53 million for the first quarter, which ended March 29, increased slightly from $6.47 million in the same period last year, mainly due to savings from a new labor contract, Arden said. Sales of $118.8 million decreased by 1.3% from the same period a year ago, while same-store sales also fell by 1.3%. Arden operates 18 Gelson’s location in Southern California.
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