JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores here yesterday said it posted a loss of $8.1 million for the 12-week first fiscal quarter, as smaller average purchases dragged same-store sales down 1.5%.
In the year-ago first quarter, the company posted a loss of $2.3 million.
Sales in the more recent quarter, which ended Sept. 16, fell 2%, to $1.64 billion, which the company attributed to the closure of six locations in the last fiscal year and the same-store sales decline.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said average basket size fell 1.5% in the quarter, while traffic was even with year-ago levels. Winn-Dixie said a shift to generic pharmaceutical products contributed 50 basis points of the decline in same-store sales, while another 100 basis points could be attributed to a boost in hurricane-related sales a year ago.
As a percentage of net sales, gross margin was 28.3% in the most recent quarter, vs. 27.9% in the first quarter of last year. Winn-Dixie attributed the reduction to lower warehouse and transportation costs, a lower inventory accounting charge and reduced promotional activity, partially offset by an increase in shrink.
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