Weis Markets saw its bottom line rise nearly 75% and net and same-store sales jump by double digits for the 2020 fiscal year.
The Mid-Atlantic grocer reported late yesterday that sales for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26 totaled $4.11 billion, up 16.1% from $3.54 billion in fiscal 2019. The gain reflects 16.4% year-over-year growth in comparable-store sales along with a 155% surge in e-commerce sales.
Weis Markets’ fresh food departments turned in a strong 2020 performance, led by meat and seafood, which got a sales boost from increased cooking at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis.
“The pandemic has been a supreme challenge for our communities and associates who continue to diligently serve our customers,” Weis (left) said in a statement.
“In-home meal consumption soared in 2020 due to an increased number of customers and their families working or attending school remotely. We met this demand by ensuring a safe shopping environment for our customers and associates and operating stores that were consistently in-stock,” he explained.
Income from operations swelled by 92.8% to $163.2 million in fiscal 2020 from $78.5 million in 2019. Net earnings climbed 74.9% to $118.9 million, or $4.42 per share, from $68 million, or $1.89 per share, a year ago.
“Our results were made possible by increased replenishment schedules; adaptable procurement programs; enhanced e-commerce solutions; disciplined marketing and pricing programs; improved store, manufacturing and distribution efficiencies; and consistent customer service,” Weis stated.
For the 13-week fiscal 2020 fourth quarter, net sales rose 13.7% to $1.03 billion from $902.4 million a year earlier. Same-store sales grew 14.1%, while income from operations increased 17.3% to $26.9 million from $23 million in the prior-year period. The company didn’t report e-commerce sales results.
Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets finished fiscal 2020 with 197 supermarkets — the same as in fiscal 2019 — in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia.
On Wednesday, Weis Markets announced the promotion of Robert Gleeson (left) to senior vice president of merchandising and marketing. He previously was vice president of fresh merchandising.
In an expanded role, Gleeson now will oversee the grocer’s fresh and center-store merchandising, sales and procurement, marketing and advertising. He reports to Chief Operating Officer Kurt Schertle.
Gleeson joined Weis Markets as vice president of fresh merchandising in July 2019. Before that, he served as president of the Shoppers Food & Pharmacy division of Supervalu from September 2013 to June 2018. He began his career with the Shoppers food and drug chain in 1984 as a part-time grocery associate. During his 29-year career with Lanham, Md.-based Shoppers and Supervalu, which bought the chain in 1999 as part of the Richfood Holdings acquisition, he served in a range of senior leadership posts, including as vice president of center store and senior vice president of merchandising before becoming Shoppers division president.