STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Effective selling and merchandising initiatives helped Sobeys post a 3.5% gain in same-store sales during its fiscal first quarter ended Aug. 4, officials said. Sales of $3.33 billion (U.S.) increased 4.1% from the same period a year ago while the retailer contributed around $43.5 million in earnings to Empire Cos., its parent company, during the quarter. Bill McEwan, president and chief executive officer of Sobeys, in a conference call said the retailer has made “tremendous progress” in its efforts to convert IGA stores to its Sobeys or Foodland banners. The retailer will direct capital expenditures toward the completion of new distribution centers in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, McEwan added.
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