Weis Markets saw net and same-store sales rise by double digits, including a record gain in online sales, and net income surge over 118% for its fiscal 2020 third quarter.
For the quarter ended Sept. 26, net sales climbed 14.4% to $1 billion from $876.2 million a year earlier, Weis Markets reported this week. Comparable-store sales jumped 14.8% year over year, and digital sales skyrocketed, rising 160%.
At the bottom line, net earnings in the third quarter totaled $31.3 million, or $1.16 per share, compared with $14.3 million, or 53 cents per share, a year ago.
The strong sales and earnings gains reflect the ongoing market impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Jonathan Weis, chairman and CEO of Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets.
“Our sales and current demand continue to be impacted by a significant number of people working remotely, often with children attending school the same way, which results in more at-home meals,” Weis said in a statement. “Our customers have also adjusted the way they shop, making fewer trips to our stores but buying larger orders. Additionally, our e-commerce sales continue to grow at a record rate.”
Weis noted that the supermarket chain and its employees continue to adapt to the changes brought by COVID-19, including measures to keep stores safe and well-stocked. Regarding the latter, he reported that Weis Markets has taken steps to ensure sufficient inventory to serve customers during the upcoming holiday season.
“We’ve adjusted to meet this increased demand with agile procurement, consistent in-stock conditions, disciplined marketing and pricing programs and accelerated replenishment schedules,” Weis explained. “Over the past seven months, our associates have adapted and taken on additional challenges, cleaning and sanitizing our stores throughout the day and doing their best to ensure social distancing and a safe shopping environment during challenging times. We are grateful for all they do.”
For the fiscal year to date, Weis Markets posted sales of $3.09 billion, up 16.9% from $2.64 billion in the prior-year period. Comp-store sales in the 39 weeks grew 17.3% year over year, with e-commerce sales up 147%. Net income for the nine months came in at $99.5 million, or $3.70 per share, versus $26.9 million, or $1.83 per share, a year earlier.
Currently, Weis Markets operates 195 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia, compared with 198 stores a year ago.
Last month, the regional grocer completed remodels for three of its stores in Frederick, Md., including locations at Old Camptown Road and Route 40, Thomas Johnson Drive and Spring Ridge Parkway.
All three stores received new decor and had their pharmacy departments expanded, while the Old Camptown and Spring Ridge stores also now feature larger frozen sections. In addition, the Old Camptown and Spring Ridge locations house store-within-a-store areas for natural and organic products as well as new self-checkout lanes. The Thomas Johnson Drive store, too, includes upgraded bakery and deli departments.
At the Old Camptown store, a second phase of the upgrade will include the addition of a six-pump fuel center.
“These updated stores offer our Frederick customers improved variety, service and convenience,” stated Ron Bonacci, vice president of advertising and marketing. “We are proud to enhance our shopping experience and continue to invest in the communities we service.”
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