MATTHEWS, N.C. Regional grocery chain Harris Teeter reported that first-quarter sales rose 4.7% to $972.3 million.
Meanwhile, comparable-store sales were down 2.4%, mainly due to retail price deflation and changes in shopping habits as a result of the economic environment. Operating profit declined to $42.3 million, compared with $44.3 million in the same period last year.
During the first quarter 2010, the grocer opened six stores and closed one, and added that it would continue expansion of its existing markets, including the Washington, D.C. metro market area which incorporates northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, southern Maryland and coastal Delaware. Harris Teeter announced earlier this week it was opening two new stores in Raleigh, N.C., and Fairfax, Va. As of Dec. 27, 2009, Harris Teeter operated 194 stores.
"As customers face the ongoing challenges of the economy, our focus remains on driving customer shopping visits and loyalty," said Thomas Dickson, chairman, president and CEO of Harris Teeter's parent company, Ruddick Corp. "We continue to deliver quality, variety and value to each and every customer through further investing in our instore promotional activity and lower everyday prices."