QUINCY, Mass. -- Stop & Shop Cos. here last week agreed to sell stores to two of its New England competitors: Shaw's Supermarkets, East Bridgewater, Mass., and Star Market, Cambridge, Mass.
Star is buying four stores -- three Purity units and one Stop & Shop unit -- in the Greater Boston area, said Stop & Shop spokeswoman Mary Jo Anderson. Those are the first units Stop & Shop has sold since it was required to divest 17 when it acquired Purity Supreme, North Billerica, Mass.
Shaw's is purchasing two Purity Supreme stores in Nashua and West Lebanon, N.H., which are not among the units to be divested. Stop & Shop acquired six Purity stores in New Hampshire and is selling them off because it does not operate any other stores in the state, Anderson said. The other Purity stores are in Plaistow, Rochester, Salem and Pelham, N.H.
Also last week, Stop & Shop released sales and earnings for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 27, in which it completed the acquisition of Melmarkets/Foodtown, Garden City, N.Y. The Purity and Melmarkets deals contributed to increased sales for the quarter and year. Sales rose 22.2% to $1.1 billion for the quarter and 8% to $4.1 billion for the year. Same-store sales increased 3% and 1% for the quarter and year, respectively.
Those figures, revisions from previously released results, include $36.3 million in sales from the Purity stores from the time Stop & Shop acquired them in November through their conversion to the Stop & Shop banner, the company reported. After the conversion, the figures were calculated as Stop & Shop sales. The quarterly sales figures also include $52.7 million in sales for the Melmarkets/Foodtown stores from Dec. 10.
Net income dropped 60.7% to $8.8 million for the fourth quarter and 6.7% to $67.9 million for the year. The company recorded two charges, totaling $10.3 million, related to the early retirement of debt and Bradlees' Chapter 11 filing.