RIDGEWOOD, N.Y. -- Western Beef here said it has purchased the fixtures and equipment of three former Rex Gene food-outlet stores in Rahway, Sayerville, and Manalapan, N.J., and negotiated a six-month option to purchase fixtures and equipment of a fourth location in West Long Branch, N.J.
supporting traditional supermarket merchandise categories including grocery, dairy, frozen food, meat, deli, produce and bakery.
The stores are principally fixtured with warehouse-type racking and feature walk-in refrigerated cold rooms, where meat and dairy products can be displayed. The company said the stores will be closed for a brief period in order to effect some minor capital improvements and staff and stock the stores.
Peter Castellana Jr., president and chief executive officer, said the new stores match Western Beef's existing units in customer demographics and style of operation.
"The Metropolitan New York proximity of these stores will help the company leverage operational efficiencies in its distribution and administrative facilities," he said.
Western Beef said net income increased 16.6% to $948,000, or 17 cents per share, on net sales of $70.1 million for the 13-week first quarter ended April 3.
Net sales decreased 3.8% compared with the year-ago quarter. Wholesale division sales decreased by $7.2 million due in part to the divestiture of its wholesale outlet business in February, as well as the company's tighter credit policies.
Retail division sales increased $4.4 million, due in part to the extra week in the current year's quarter. After adjusting for the additional week, comparable-store sales increased 0.5% during the quarter.