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Ingles Markets’ sales rise in Q3

BY Allison Cerra

ASHEVILLE, N.C. Ingles Markets’ net sales rose 3.5% to $856.1 million for the three months ended June 26, compared with the year-ago period.

The supermarket chain also reported that its its net income totaled $11.7 million, for the three-month period ended June 26, compared with $4.7 million in the year-ago period. Additionally, operating and administrative expenses increased $6.5 million, or 4.1%, to $164.5 million for the three months ended June 26, from $158 million in the same period last year.

Company CEO Robert Ingle, stated, “We are pleased with our growth in sales and in customer visits to our stores. Our improved results highlight our goals of building sales and customer visits as drivers to deliver better results in an economic and competitive environment that still has significant challenges.”

Ingles Markets operates 202 supermarkets in six southeastern states. The company does disclose pharmacy sales, the chain operates pharmacies in about 70 of its stores.

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A&P names new CEO, posts Q1 results

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. Supermarket chain A&P has appointed former OfficeMax executive Sam Martin as its new CEO, succeeding Ron Marshall, who has left the company after serving less than six months at the helm. The news came as the grocer reported a first-quarter net loss of $122 million and a 7.2% drop in same-store sales.

Martin, who has more than three decades of management experience in the food retail industry, joins A&P from OfficeMax, where he served as COO since 2007. Prior to OfficeMax, Martin was COO for Wild Oats Markets through the company’s acquisition by Whole Foods. His experience also includes senior management roles at ShopKo Stores and Fred Meyer.

With new leadership in place, the company is gearing up for a turnaround through a new operational and revenue-driven initiative. The four key elements of the turnaround plan are:

  • Improve the company’s customer value proposition through merchandising
  • Enhance the customer experience and drive clear brand identify
  • Lower structural and operating costs
  • Implement new financing initiatives to augment first quarter liquidity of $253 million

“I firmly believe that this turnaround will strengthen A&P’s operating foundation and improve our performance. I have faced similar situations in my career and have successfully navigated through them. We will move quickly to implement this turnaround for the benefit of all our stakeholders,” stated Martin.

The company, which currently operates 429 stores and roughly 250 retail pharmacies, also is looking into capital raising opportunities, including incremental financing through its current bank facility, as well as pursuing sale-leaseback transactions and the sale of certain noncore assets.

For the first-quarter sales were $2.6 billion versus $2.8 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales dropped 7.2%. Net loss for the quarter totaled $122 million, or a loss of $4.83 per share, compared with a loss of $65 million, or $3.64 a share, in the year-ago period.

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Good ‘Carma’ can pay off

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Parlaying a 73-year-old brand with a strong following into another synergistic category only can mean good things, especially as a significant amount of trial almost is a foregone conclusion.

(THE NEWS: Carmex enters skin care category. For the full story, click here)

And while that may shift some share around in skin care, it ultimately should help grow that business. Because with Carma Labs, you get a company that has been featured on more than one occasion on Oprah, a mecca of sorts for consumer-packaged goods companies. And you get a company that has been on the forefront in utilizing interactive social media to help promote the brand.

Carma Labs was one of two companies last week to announce a greater presence within the health and beauty space, the other being Reckitt Benkiser with its proposed acquisition of SSL International, parent company of Durex. If successful, Reckitt Benkiser will be making its debut in the intimacy health space, folding another health category under it’s wing and broadening the company’s reach into the U.S. market.

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