Fourth-quarter financial results released this week by Weis Markets Inc. indicated the Sunbury, Pa.-based grocer has continued to generate robust sales growth relative to peers.
Weis, which operates 197 supermarkets in the mid-Atlantic, said sales for the period ending Dec. 26 increased by 13.7% to $1 billion compared to the same period in 2019, while fourth quarter comparable-store sales increased 14.1%.
For the fiscal year, sales at Weis totaled $4.1 billion, a 16.1% year-over-year increase, and comps increased by 16.4%, aided by COVID sales trends, including more meals consumed at home, and growing e-commerce capabilities helping to spark a 155% e-commerce sales gain in 2020. Strong sales in meat and seafood departments benefited from increased at-home cooking. This was backed by a strong operational performance that helped its stores stay in stock and held prices in check, Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis said in a statement.
“The pandemic has been a supreme challenge for our communities, and our associates who continue to diligently serve our customers,” he said. “In-home meal consumption soared in 2020 due to an increased number of customers and their families working or attending school remotely. We met this demand by ensuring a safe shopping environment for our customers and associates, and operating stores that were consistently in stock. Our results were made possible by increased replenishment schedules, adaptable procurement programs, enhanced e-commerce solutions, disciplined marketing and pricing programs, improved store, manufacturing and distribution efficiencies and consistent customer service.”
For the quarter, Weis said income from operations totaled $26.9 million, up from $26 million a year ago. Net income was up by 2.8% to $19.4 million, or 73 cents per share.
The company is expected to post further financial details when it files a quarterly operating report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Gleeson Promoted to SVP of Merchandising
Separately this week, Weis announced the promotion of Bob Gleeson to senior vice president of merchandising and marketing.
In this position, Gleeson will oversee the company’s fresh and center store merchandising, sales and procurement, marketing and advertising. He reports to Chief Operating Officer Kurt Schertle.
Gleeson joined Weis Markets in 2019 as VP of fresh merchandising. He began his career in the industry at Shoppers Food Warehouse in 1984 as a part-time grocery associate. During his 29-year career with Shoppers, which is based in Lanham, Md., and subsequently Supervalu, he worked in increasingly senior leadership positions, including vice president of center store, senior vice president of merchandising and division president.
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