PUBLIX EARNINGS, STOCK TUMBLE IN Q3
LAKELAND, Fla. — Rising internal costs and a struggling customer base combined to send quarterly earnings down by 18.9% in the third quarter, Publix Super Markets here said last week. In unaudited financial results, Publix said sales for the quarter improved 3.7% to $5.8 billion, with comparable-store sales rising by 1.2%. Net earnings, however, fell to $201.8 million from $249 million in the same period a year ago. Publix stock, which is not publicly traded, decreased from $19.70 per share to $17.90 per share based on assessor value. “In these tough times our costs are continuing to rise while many customers are struggling to make ends meet,” Ed Crenshaw, chief executive officer of Publix, said in a statement.
KLEIN'S MARKETS JOINS WAKEFERN
KEASBEY, N.J. — Klein's Family Markets, a family-run independent based in Forest Hill, Md., has joined the Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative, based here, bringing the ShopRite banner to Maryland. Klein's said it would convert its seven stores to the Klein's ShopRite banner beginning early next year. Klein's supply contract with Supervalu expires Jan. 31. Membership in the co-op would allow Klein's to improve its assortment of private brands and fresh goods at its stores and add programs like the ShopRite PricePlus loyalty card and in-store cooking classes, Klein's said in a release. Klein's operates as an EDLP retailer, similar to other ShopRite companies. “Like our own family, many of the Wakefern members are third- and fourth-generation grocers,” said Michael J. Klein, vice president and purchasing director.
ARDEN PAYS BIG DIVIDEND; SALES SINK
LOS ANGELES — Arden Group, parent of Gelson's Markets, said last week that its board had approved a special $25-per-share dividend. The $79 million payment to Class A shareholders — $45 million of which would go to Bernard Briskin, chairman and chief executive officer and holder of 57% of the company's Class A stock — recognizes Arden's “strong financial position, including its cash, marketable securities and positive cash flow,” the company said in a statement. Arden's sales decreased 4.2% to $114.2 million during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 27. Same-store sales fell by 4.4%. Net income of $4.1 million was down 53.7%.
ACOSTA TO ACQUIRE MARKETING FIRM
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Acosta Sales and Marketing Co. here last week said it has agreed to acquire Promo Depot, a promotional products company and marketing agency, also based here. Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition is effective Dec. 1. Acosta said the offerings of its own MatchPoint Marketing would be combined with Promo Depot into one organization under the leadership of Mike Sims, president of Promo Depot. The combined company will focus on brand strategy, creative, interactive marketing and sales promotion, and will be called Promo Depot/MatchPoint.
DOLLAR TREE Q3 SALES INCREASE 11.6%
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Increases in store traffic and average sales ticket helped Dollar Tree here boost its third-quarter sales by 11.6% to $1.1 billion, the retailer here said last week. Comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 6.2%. Consumers shopped the discount retailer for items like food, back-to-school and Halloween items, said the company, which will report earnings later this month.