Newswatch

Weis Markets here last week said its profits rose sharply in the third quarter on a slight increase in sales. The 165-store operator said net income of $15.6 million rose 92.2% for the 13-week period, which ended Sept. 26, compared with year-ago results. Sales for the quarter rose 3.2%, and comparable-store sales rose 1.1%. The results included about one

WEIS REPORTS 92% Q3 PROFIT GAINS

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets here last week said its profits rose sharply in the third quarter on a slight increase in sales. The 165-store operator said net income of $15.6 million rose 92.2% for the 13-week period, which ended Sept. 26, compared with year-ago results. Sales for the quarter rose 3.2%, and comparable-store sales rose 1.1%. The results included about one month of volume from the Giant of Binghamton, N.Y., locations that were acquired Aug. 23 and reopened Aug. 25, contributing the majority of the sales gain for the quarter. Income from operations was up 123.2%, to $24.2 million. Through three quarters, net income was up 57.7%, to $47.3 million, on a 2.3% gain in sales, to $1.8 billion. Year-to-date comps rose 1.7%.

TURKEY HILL C-STORES EXPAND TO OHIO

LANCASTER, Pa. — Turkey Hill Minit Markets, Kroger's chain of convenience stores here, is expanding into Ohio. The chain last week opened five Columbus, Ohio-market stores, which were former On the Run convenience stores acquired from Gilligan Oil Co. for an undisclosed price. Additionally, Turkey Hill said it was building two new stores in the Columbus market that are expected to open by the end of the year. The expansion will integrate Kroger's convenience stores in a market where it already has a strong grocery presence. The chain said the stores would redeem Kroger Gas Rewards. The new openings are the first in Ohio for Turkey Hill and increase its total number of stores to 253. The chain began a Midwest expansion last year by opening a store in Indiana.

SCOLARI'S OUTSOURCES SUPPLY TO C&S

SPARKS, Nev. — Distribution for Scolari's Food and Drug will be transferred this week from its warehouse here to C&S Wholesale Grocers, the retailer said last week. C&S will service Scolari's 19 stores from its facilities in Stockton, Calif., and West Sacramento, Calif., and Scolari's Sparks warehouse will close, a company spokesman told SN. The company said the move would help control costs and help Scolari's provide better value for shoppers. “The grocery business is very competitive these days and we don't make decisions like this without doing our homework,” Joey Scolari, chief executive officer of the retailer, said in a statement. “We must evolve if we want to remain profitable.”

STATER BROS. COMPLETES DAIRY SALE

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Markets here said last week it has completed the sale of Santee Dairies, a wholly owned subsidiary, to Dean Foods, Dallas, for an unspecified amount. Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer of Stater, said the chain will continue to purchase dairy products from Dean and will use proceeds from the sale to look at real estate and other opportunities. Brown said last week the future growth of Santee was limited because most potential customers were competing supermarket chains with their own dairy operations.

SAFEWAY TO RESUME TALKS IN COLO.

DENVER — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 here said it would return to the bargaining table with Safeway this week as the sides try to resolve a lengthy contract dispute. Talks with Kroger-operated King Soopers, however, had not been scheduled as of late last week, a King Soopers spokeswoman told SN. Local 7 has voted to reject two prior offers from employers.