Weis Markets saw net and comparable sales rebound in its fiscal 2021 third quarter after second-quarter declines.
For the quarter ended Sept. 25, net sales came in at $1.06 billion, up 6.1% from $1 billion a year earlier, Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets reported this week. That marked a resurgence from a 4.7% decrease in the 2021 second quarter and built on a 14.4% jump in the 2020 third quarter, fueled by heightened consumer demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comp-store sales climbed 4.6% year over year in the 2021 third quarter, with growth of 19.4% on a two-year stacked basis, according to Weis Markets. The quarterly gain came atop a 14.8% increase in the prior-year quarter and represented a bounce back from a 5.8% decrease in the 2021 second quarter.
For the year to date, Weis Markets’ net sales rose 1% to $3.12 billion from $3.09 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales for the 39 weeks were virtually flat, dipping 0.1%, but were up 17.2% over two years.
Jonathan Weis, chairman, president and CEO of Weis Markets, noted that the company generated sales growth in the third quarter despite a volatile economic climate. He added that the retailer plans to pay most associates an appreciation bonus in January for their extra efforts to serve shoppers, as it has done periodically in the past 18 months. The payment comes in addition to the company’s longstanding holiday bonus program.
“We continued to generate strong results in the third quarter,” Weis said in a statement. “Our hard-working and dedicated associates are the key to our success. They continue to help us navigate through the challenges of a pandemic-impacted marketplace, which includes a tight labor market, supply chain disruptions and product cost inflation, resulting in some consumer resistance.”
At the bottom line, Weis Markets reported 2021 third-quarter net earnings of $28.5 million, or $1.06 per share, compared with $31.3 million, or $1.16 per share, a year ago. Year-to-date net income totaled $86.2 million, or $3.21 per share, versus $99.5 million, or $3.70 per share, in the prior-year period.
Weis Markets added that it has boosted planned capital expenditures for fiscal 2021 to $150 million, up 11.1% from the $135 million capital budget announced this spring at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Along with further investments in employees and customers, the added funding is earmarked for hundreds of store improvement projects and enhanced supply-chain network capabilities, the retailer said. Most recently, the chain remodeled its store in Lewisburg, Pa., adding a drive-thru pharmacy, and updated décor as well as expanding the product assortment and widening aisles.
Overall, Weis Markets operates 197 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia, up from 195 stores a year ago.