Weis Markets has set a $109 million capital budget for the 2019 fiscal year, planning to build one new store, remodel another 14 and add six new fuel centers.
The regional retailer will also make supply chain improvements and IT upgrades as part of its capital spending plan, CEO Jonathan Weis said at the retailer’s annual meeting in Sunbury, Pa.
Its sole new store will be located in Bedminster, Pa., which is unusual for Weis Markets, which typically devotes a quarter of its budget to new stores; 15% to 20% to remodels; and the remainder to smaller in-store sales-driven projects, store maintenance and store support function expenditures.
Weis posted fiscal 2018 sales of $3.5 billion—a 1.2% gain—in fiscal 2018, which ended Dec. 30. Comps, excluding gasoline, increased by 0.3%. Income from operations of $83.6 million increased by 9.4% year over year; however, net income was down by 36.3% to $62.7 million, affected by lapping the tax benefits a year earlier.
Weis attributed the company’s progress to its store base and information technology investments. Sales and operating income benefited from targeted holiday promotions through its loyalty marketing program, price optimization improvements and more efficient store-level inventory management.
“Our e-commerce investments helped generate a 33.2% increase in our online sales,” Weis said. “Today, we offer online ordering with curbside pickup in 125 stores, while 174 of our stores offer home delivery via Shipt, a leading online delivery service. Online ordering is a growing segment of our business that we expect to grow exponentially in the coming years.”
Weis spent approximately $101 million on capital projects last year, including opening two new stores. Five stores closed during the year. At the end of its fiscal year, Weis operated 202 stores.