- Weis Markets reported a sales jump of 15.4% to $852.2 million for the first quarter 2017, compared to $738.2 million in the year-ago period, according to Progressive Grocer. This is the 12th consecutive quarter that company sales have increased. The retailer attributes this uptick to a late Easter holiday, a mild winter and overall price deflation, as well as its investments in pricing and promotional programs.
- Weis' net income fell 41.2% to $11.8 million for the period, with earnings per share dropping to 44 cents, compared to 75 cents in the year-ago period.
- Last fall, Weis acquired stores from Mars Super Markets, Ahold Delhaize’s Food Lion banner and Nell’s Family Market. It converted all 44 locations to its own banner in less than 100 days.
Easter is a big season for shoppers who stock up on meats and produce for holiday dinners, eggs to color and plenty of candy to fill Easter baskets. The holiday's mid-April date gave Weis, and grocers in general, more time to promote these items and cross-merchandize them with related products such as toys, bunny ears and greeting cards. A mild winter also drove store traffic and purchases during the period.
Weis' acquisitions also have expanded its grocery footprint, giving it access to new markets without the hassle of buying real estate and constructing entirely new store locations. These 44 supermarkets likely attracted the attention of shoppers when they were converted to the Weis banner, and provided a good opportunity for the company to implement new pricing promotions to woo customers.
These new locations boosted Q4 sales by 17.6%, and it appears they continue to be a lucrative investment for the retailer. Now, Weis will have to ensure it keeps the customers shopping in these new stores loyal.
Weis also said it will invest about $90 million in its growth this year, putting the money toward new stores and remodels of existing locations. Several grocers, like Aldi and Ahold Delhaize, are investing in store remodels to prepare for Lidl's summer invasion of the U.S. retail space. It will be interesting to see if Weis' updates help it stand out from competitors, or if it will need to implement new promotion strategies or other investments to continue driving sales.