- Weis Markets saw 2018 first-quarter sales increase 2.8% to $876.1 million year-over-year, boosted by Easter sales falling within the period. Comparable store sales, adjusted for the holiday shift, increased 1.5%, according to its most recent earnings report.
- During the 13-week Q1 period, Weis Markets’ net income climbed 36.8% to $16.2 million, compared with $11.8 million for the same time period in 2017. First quarter earnings per share increased 36.4% to 60 cents, compared with 44 cents in 2017. The company’s first quarter operating income increased 12.8% to $22.8 million, according to the report.
- The company also touted a $101 million growth plan for the construction of two new stores, 20 remodels, four pharmacies and one fuel center, the release says. Weis plans to trial home delivery this year, and will continue expanding its click-and-collect service, which is now offered at 79 stores. The Sunbury, Pennsylvania-, based company operates 206 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.
The Mid-Atlantic grocery chain has seen its 15th consecutive quarter of comparable store increases and shows no sign of slowing down. Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis attributed this quarter’s success to efficiencies in inventory management, labor expenses and improvements in marketing and advertising programs.
Weis has found success by focusing growth on a few key Mid-Atlantic markets, including the Baltimore County, Maryland area. The grocer also touts affordability and upgrading its loyalty program to provide additional discounts on private label products as keys to its success.
Like many grocers, Weis is dipping a toe into delivery service as consumers continue to demand convenience and ease in shopping for fresh foods. In order to compete with the likes of Walmart to reach cost-conscious customers, as well as rapidly expanding food delivery services from Instacart, Target and Amazon, stores cannot afford to ignore e-commerce.
Jonathan Weis told the Patriot-News in Pennsylvania last year that although his company keeps an eye on pricing to compete with the likes of big-box stores, company officials say they intend to keep trying new initiatives, sales services and food trends.
“We want to be interesting, not boring or dull,” Weis said in that interview. “We just have a philosophy that we're not going to be afraid to fail.”
As the company adds a handful of stores, remodels others, and expands online store pick-up and home delivery services, industry leaders will be looking to see how long the formula Weis uses will let the store continue its growth trajectory.