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Regional independent Stater Bros.’ low-price strategy drove an increase in sales and traffic for the its third quarter and year to date financials, according to the grocer.
"Our sales and customer count increases indicate that our valued customers appreciate our strategy of 'sharing their pain' by holding our prices as low as we can to help them through these tough economic times,” said Jack Brown, chairman, president, and CEO of Stater Bros. "Our debt refinancing in the first part of fiscal 2011, which reduced our overall debt load and reduced the interest rate on our remaining debt, has been very helpful in allowing us to sacrifice margin in the short-term in order to retain our valued customers in the long-term."
Sales for the 13-week quarter ended June 26, 2011 were $939 million, up $39 million or 4.33 percent from last year’s $900 million. Year to date sales were $2.8 billion, up $45 million over last year. Year to date sales were affected by increased customer count of approximately 1.4 million customers.
Same store sales increased 4.33 percent and 1.68 percent year to date.
The grocer reported net income of $7.1 million for the quarter, up from last year’s $6 million. Net income for the 39 week period of fiscal 2011 was $17.1 million compared to $18.7 a year ago. Fiscal 2010 year-to-date net income included an after-tax gain of $5.6 million from the sale of the company's dairy assets.
"We are pleased with our like-store-sales increase for the quarter and for the year,” added Brown. “Our customer count has increased approximately 1.4 million in fiscal 2011 compared to fiscal 2010 and is due to the loyalty of our customers, many of whose families we have served for over three generations.”
Stater Bros. operates 167 Supermarkets in Southern California.