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    Stater Bros. Q3 Sales Down

    This week Stater Bros. posted sales for the 13-week period ended June 27 of $900 million, vs. $928.6 million in the year-ago period.

    This week Stater Bros. posted sales for the 13-week period ended June 27 of $900 million, vs. $928.6 million in the year-ago period. The company attributed $23 million of $28.6 million loss to the sale of its Santee Dairies assets in the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Store sales for the quarter were down $5.6 million, or 0.61 percent, compared with last year.

    Consolidated sales for the 39 weeks ended June 27 came to $2.71 billion, from $2.82 billion in the prior-year period, a decrease of $109.4 million, of which $72.6 million was attributable to the sale of the dairy assets. Store sales year to date declined by $36.8 million, or 1.34 percent.

    Like-store sales were down 1.19 percent, or $10.8 million, for the 13-week period, compared with last year. For the 39-week period, like-store sales declined 2.17 percent, or $59.4 million, from the prior year.

    Stater Bros. posted net income for the 13-week period of $6.0 million, compared with $15.1 million for the year-ago period. Net income for the 39 week period totaled $18.7 million vs. $29.8 million last year.

    “The current economic downturn has impacted our customers’ family budgets and has made them even more conscious of getting value for their food dollars,” explained Stater Bros. Holdings chairman, president and CEO Jack H. Brown, citing an unemployment rate in much of the company’s marketing area of 15 percent, and noting that it would take “some time” for the Southern California economy to rebound. “A cornerstone of our business strategy is to retain [customer] loyalty by providing them the best value possible, which includes not only being competitive on price, but also providing our customers with unparalleled customer service. We are sacrificing gross profit in the short term in order to retain our customers in the long term.”

    Brown added that the company was “focused on controlling our operating cost while providing our customers with the hometown service they have come to expect and the low prices they need on each visit to their Stater Bros. Supermarket.”

    The largest privately held supermarket chain in Southern California, San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. operates 167 stores through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stater Bros. Markets.
     

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