As part of its cap ex plan for 2021, Weis Markets will invest $135 million in new stores, remodels, fuel centers, information technology upgrades and more than a thousand smaller store improvement projects, CEO Jonathan Weis announced during the Sunbury, Pa.-based retailer’s annual shareholder meeting on April 29.
So far this year, Weis Markets has opened a new store in Martinsburg, W.Va., and a remodeled store in Gap, Pa., which was closed for 18 months due to a fire, Weis said. Work has also begun on a new store in Warminster, Pa.—the retailer’s second in Bucks County—and work is also being completed on two stores in Lehigh Valley, Pa., that will open later this spring.
Weis Markets also plans eight remodels and eight fuel centers in 2021 and notes that while all of these projects will begin in 2021, some may not be completed until 2022.
In its annual report for 2020, Weis Markets said it believes opening new stores and remodeling current stores are vital for future growth, with the location and appearance of its stores important components to attracting new customers and retaining current shoppers.
On an average basis, Weis Markets has five to eight new stores in the process of being developed and dedicates one-third of its capital budget to new stores annually, excluding acquisitions, it said. Another 15% to 20% of the capital budget is dedicated to store remodels, while the remainder is attributable to smaller in-store sales-driven projects, store maintenance and store support function expenditures.
In fiscal year 2020, Weis Markets, which operates 198 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia, generated $4.1 billion in sales—up 16.1%—while same-store sales increased 16.4%; net income increased 74.9% to $118.9 million.
Property and equipment purchases totaled $131 million in 2020, compared to $101.5 million in 2019 and $95.6 million in 2018. As a percentage of sales, capital expenditures totaled 3.2% in 2020, 2.9% in 2019 and 2.7% in 2018.