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Village_Super_Market-ShopRite_store-exterior.jpeg Village Super Market

Village Super Market posts Q4 sales, profit growth

Inflation drives same-store sales up 3.5% for full fiscal year; quarterly digital sales rise 12%

Village Super Market on Wednesday said same-store sales were up 3.2% for the fiscal fourth quarter and 3.5% for the full fiscal year, driven mostly by inflation.

The sales gains helped fuel profit growth in the fourth quarter and year, which ended July 29. Quarterly net income rose 21%, to $15.3 million, and net income for the full year was up 85%, to $49.7 million, compared with year-ago results. Adjusted for one-time charges and gains related to a litigation settlement, the termination and settlement of a pension agreement, and other matters, Village said adjusted net income increased 27% for the quarter and 40% for the year.

Sales for the fourth quarter were up about 5%, to $553.8 million, and rose about 5.3% for the full fiscal year, to $2.17 billion, compared with year-ago results.

Springfield, N.J.-based Village Super Market operates 34 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania under the ShopRite and Fairway banners, and four Gourmet Garage specialty markets in New York City. It is a member of the Wakefern Food Corp. wholesale co-op, based in Keasbey, N.J.

In addition to the same-store sales gains, Village said sales growth in fiscal 2023 was driven by the conversion of a Fairway store in Pelham, N.Y., to the ShopRite banner and the opening of a new Gourmet Garage in Manhattan.

The company also said its same-store digital sales increased 12% in the fourth quarter and 5% for the full year. A spokesperson for Village could not be reached for comment about what drove the larger quarterly increase in digital sales.

In the fiscal third quarter, Village had posted same-store sales gains of 3.4%, and digital same-store sales growth of 4.8%.

Village offers online grocery ordering for in-store pick up or home delivery in all of its ShopRite stores through, the ShopRite app or through third-party service providers, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Customers can also pre-order deli, catering, specialty occasion cakes, and other items through the ShopRite Order Express app. Online ordering for home delivery is also available at the company’s Fairway and Gourmet Garage stores through third-party service providers.

Village said its gross profit for the fourth quarter increased to about 29.08% of sales, up from about 28.11% in the year-ago period. Operating and administrative expenses as a percent of sales increased to 23.92%, vs. 23.14% in the year-ago quarter.

For the full year, gross profit as a percent of sales increased to 28.45%, compared with 28.12% in fiscal 2022. Village said gross margins increased in part due to pricing initiatives and improvements in commissary operations, partially offset by higher inventory shrink.

Operating and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales for fiscal 2023 decreased to 23.86%, vs. 24.63% in fiscal 2022. The company said labor costs and fringe benefits decreased due primarily to sales leverage and ongoing productivity initiatives, partially offset by minimum wage and market-driven pay rate increases.

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