SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Although it already competes with 20 Fresh & Easy locations, Stater Bros. Holdings here has felt minimal impact from its new competitor, Jack Brown, Stater’s chairman and chief executive officer, said Wednesday. “We have felt almost no impact — maybe $1,000 a week, and that’s giving them the benefit of the doubt,” Brown said in a conference call reviewing annual earnings. Brown said his observations of Fresh & Easy indicated the Tesco-owned chain was targeting shoppers whose “frame of mind,” differed from that of Stater shoppers. Stater reported sales of $3.7 billion for the 53-week fiscal year ending Sept. 30, an increase of 4.7% over fiscal 2006, or 2.9% excluding the extra week. Adjusted same-store sales improved by 1.7% for the year. Net income for the year improved to $49.4 million, an increase of 89.3%. For the 14-week fourth quarter, Stater said sales improved 11.5% to $993.8 million, as compared to the 13-week quarter in fiscal 2006. Adjusted for the extra week, quarterly sales increased 4.2% and same-store sales improved 2.2%.
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