Thanksgiving Sales Slow but A&P Swings to Profit

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P's "no gimmicks" stand on Thanksgiving turkey promotions gobbled away sales gains among A&P's Northeast banners during its fiscal third quarter, the retailer here said Tuesday.

MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P's "no gimmicks" stand on Thanksgiving turkey promotions gobbled away sales gains among A&P's Northeast banners during its fiscal third quarter, the retailer here said Tuesday. “We followed through on our commitment not to give the farm away during the Thanksgiving holiday season with promotions like free turkeys,” Eric Claus, chief executive officer, told analysts in a conference call. “We were very deliberate in our strategy to drive profitability even at the expense of foregoing unprofitable sales.” As a result, Claus said, A&P‘s comparable-store sales trended from slightly positive in September to negative 2% in November, finishing flat for the quarter ending Dec. 2. Including A&P‘s struggling divisions in New Orleans and Michigan, comparable sales fell by 3% during the quarter while EBITDA remained flat and earnings, thanks to a $45 million tax benefit, swung to $41 million from a loss of $71 million a year ago. -- Jon Springer