Fairway Group Holdings, New York, on Tuesday reported a loss of $13.9 million as sales declined by 2.3% and comps dipped by 5.3% during the fiscal first quarter.
Jack Murphy, Fairway's CEO, in a conference call discussing results urged analysts to look past the short-term struggles, noting the company invested $2.8 million during the quarter to launch advertising, promotional and customer acquisition campaigns, and said efforts to improve merchandising and operations were effecting increases in traffic and items per basket at suburban stores in Pelham and Douglaston, N.Y. Gross margin percentage also improved during the period to 31.5% of sales.
"We are focused 100% on driving the top-line forward," Murphy said. Sales for the quarter, which ended June 28, totaled $198.3 million.
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