Spartan Posts Comp-Sales Decline in Q1

Spartan Stores said its comparable-store sales fell 1.8% in the first quarter, excluding the impact of fuel-price deflation and the impact of the later Easter holiday this year.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores here said its comparable-store sales fell 1.8% in the first quarter, excluding the impact of fuel-price deflation and the impact of the later Easter holiday this year.

Overall retail sales, however, were up 18.7%, primarily due to the acquisition last year of the VG’s chain and to the $2.2 million sales bump from Easter.

The company projected comps to remain under pressure for the rest of the year, due to the economic conditions and increased competition.

Overall, net income for the quarter, which ended June 20, was down about 27.7%, to $6.9 million, although operating earnings were up slightly to $15.1 million, compared with $15.0 million a year ago. Sales were up about 1.6%, to $596 million.

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