Weis Markets intends to devote $101 million to capital expenditures in 2018 for projects including two new stores, 20 remodels, a new fuel center and four new pharmacies.
Weis spent around $95.9 million on capital projects a year ago, or about 2.8% of its sales.
The new stores include the Nottingham, Md., store that opened earlier this month and a new unit in Randolph, N.J., expected to open this summer.
Weis typically devotes a quarter of its capital budget to new stores, including those in development. Remodels typically get 15% to 20% of the budget and the remainder goes toward maintenance capital and in-store sales-driven projects.
Speaking at the chain’s annual meeting this week in Sunbury, Pa., Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis said the regional retailer would utilize benefits from changes in federal tax law to support its capital needs as well as associate training and debt reduction. In a filing, Weis said the rate reduction in resulted in $49.3 million decrease in deferred tax expense.
“We will use these savings to strengthen our company’s long-term prospects,” Weis said. “This reduction has helped us make major and continuing investments in associate training and career development. It has allowed us to increase our capex spending to more than $100 million while simultaneously paying down our banking line of credit. It also provides additional resources for potential acquisition opportunities.”
He also highlighted Weis Markets’ growing online ordering program, which has expanded to include curbside pickup to 79 locations, and said the chain will test online delivery later this year.
“While we are a brick-and-mortar operator, we know there is a market for these services,” he said. “We are in the business of constantly offering our customers more choices and options from which to choose.”