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Sales at Weis Markets inch up in third quarter

Expanded pickup, delivery service boost online grocery sales

Weis Markets Inc. saw revenue and same-store sales edge up for the fiscal 2018 third quarter, while the rollout of online grocery pickup and delivery services has hoisted e-commerce sales for the year to date.

Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis said that for the quarter ended Sept. 29, revenue totaled $869.1 million, up 1.7% from $854.3 million a year earlier. Comparable-store sales rose 0.7%, down from a 1.5% year-over-year increase in the 2017 quarter.

At the bottom line, net earnings came in at $14.2 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with $4.4 million, or 37 cents per share, a year ago.

Weis noted that its third-quarter income before income taxes climbed 172% to $18.6 million due to improved efficiencies at stores acquired in 2016, advances in price optimization and better store-level inventory management. Results also got a lift from more disciplined fresh department sell-through versus the 2017 quarter, the company added.

For the year to date, sales at Weis rose 1.3% to $2.62 billion from $2.58 billion in the prior-year period. Comp-store sales gained 0.7%.

Net income for the 39 weeks totaled $49.5 million, or $1.84 per share, versus $34.8 million, or $1.29 per share, in the year-ago period.

Online sales have surged 36% for the year to date, Weis reported. The company attributed the growth to significant expansion in its Weis 2 Go Online curbside pickup program, now available at 87 store locations.

More Weis stores also are offering online grocery delivery. On Oct. 11, the retailer expanded home delivery through Shipt to 16 additional metropolitan markets. Weis had launched its partnership with Shipt in early September, rolling out the service to stores in 11 markets, including the delivery provider’s debut in Delaware. Currently, 172 Weis stores offer Shipt delivery.   

Overall, Weis operates 204 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York West Virginia and Virginia.

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