Grocery Outlet President and CEO RJ Sheedy, during a fourth quarter earnings call with analysts Tuesday, issued a roadmap that includes significant growth—despite bumps stemming from construction challenges.
“We believe we have the potential for more than 10 times the number of stores we have today,” Sheedy said, according to a transcript from financial services site Sentieo. “We continue to manage short-term new store headwinds, which have delayed additional store openings. As a result, we now expect to open 25 to 28 net new stores this year.”
Grocery Outlet’s brisk brick-and-mortar expansion led to 27 new stores in fiscal 2022, including 10 in the fourth quarter alone.
So, what pace does this set for Grocery Outlet, which operates over 440 stores? A heightened pace.
“We opened 10 new stores, ending the year with 441 locations,” CFO Charles Bracher told analysts. “Our robust comp growth, combined with the contribution from new stores, led to an 18.9% increase in net sales to $930.8 million.”
Foot-traffic data firm Placer.ai listed Grocery Outlet on its 10 Top Retail Brands to Watch in 2023 list. “The company’s successful cross-country growth proves that customers are willing to look beyond a popular brand when it comes to savings at the till,” Placer.ai noted.
Grocery Outlet relies on a unique model where stores are independently operated by local families who are committed to supporting their communities.
And with an increase of shoppers desiring value across all communities, Grocery Outlet expansion is unfolding in real time. On Thursday, the California-based grocery retailer will open a new store in its home state at 401 Nestles Rd. in Soledad, which will be and owned and operated by Zeke Reyes.
In 2023, most of Grocery Outlet’s store openings will again be weighted toward the back half of the year, the company said.
“We continue to expand our footprint despite construction challenges, and we expect the pace of openings to accelerate in the second half of the year to our 10% annualized new unit growth rate,” Charles Bracher, CFO of Grocery Outlet, said in a statement on Tuesday.