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SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets, Inc. will seed its growth strategy with an infusion of $72.5 million over the next 12 months, the chain said yesterday at its annual shareholder meeting here.
"Our ultimate goal is long-term, profitable growth," said vice chairman Jonathan Weis. "We will continue to invest in our store base, particularly proven store assets. Over the next 12 months we are planning $72.5 million in cap ex investments."
Weis said the chain will earmark two-thirds of its budget for store construction. "We plan to build two new superstores in 2007, including one replacement unit," said Mr. Weis. "In addition, we are currently working on 10 additions and plan nine remodels."
Weis said the chain poured $100 million into its capital program in 2006, nearly double its 2005 investment.
Later this spring, Weiss Market will open a replacement superstore near Easton, Pa., and is also working on four additions in Sunbury; Lancaster, Pa.; Frederick, Md.; and Stroudsburg, Pa., and recently commenced demolition work for a fifth store addition, in Schnecksville, Pa.
Also at the meeting, c.e.o. Norman S. Rich updated shareholders on the grocer's plans for adding health clinics to certain stores.
"At last year's annual shareholder meeting, we announced our partnership with the Geisinger Health System, one of Pennsylvania's leading health care providers, to open in-store health clinics in a number of our stores," said Rich. "Last summer Geisinger opened its first CareWorks clinic in our Clarks Summit store, and a second unit in Allentown earlier this year. We will continue to roll out additional clinics in the coming months."
The chain yesterday also declared a quarterly dividend of 29 cents per share to shareholders of record as of April 27, 2007, payable on May 11, 2007.
Weis Markets operates 156 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia.