Winn-Dixie Posts Q2 Sales Decline

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores here on Tuesday said cautious consumer spending pressured basket sizes in the fiscal second quarter, leading to a 2.9% decrease in identical-store sales.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. β€” Winn-Dixie Stores [3] here on Tuesday said cautious consumer spending pressured basket sizes in the fiscal second quarter, leading to a 2.9% decrease in identical-store sales.

Net income of $2.1 million for the 16-week quarter, which ended Jan. 6, was down from $16.1 million in the year-ago period, when the company reaped a net gain of $13.8 million from an insurance settlement. Sales in the quarter fell 3.3%, to $2.2 billion, partly due to six store closures in the last year and a $22 million gain in storm-related sales a year ago.

β€œIt is clear that consumers remain very cautious with their spending, which has influenced our sales across the chain, primarily with respect to overall basket size," said Peter Lynch [4], chairman, president and chief executive officer. "However, we increased transactions by 4.1% in our first-year offensive remodels compared to last year, and our customers are continuing to respond positively to the changes we are making."

He said the company would cut back on capital spending and "selectively remodel" a total of 60 stores in fiscal 2010 "in locations where we believe we can generate the highest return on our investment.”

Through the first two quarters, the company posted a loss of about $6 million, vs. net income of $13.8 million a year ago. Sales were off about 2.8%, to $3.8 billion, and identical-store sales fell 2.3%.

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