Village Super Market Inc. has reported the results of its operations for the fourth quarter, as well as its fiscal 2021 results. The Wakefern Food Corp. member operates a chain of 34 supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania under the ShopRite and Fairway banners, along with three Gourmet Garage specialty markets in New York City.
For the quarter ended July 31, Village Super Market’s net income was $9.5 million, an increase of 3%, compared with $9.2 million in the fourth quarter of the prior year. Sales were also up 7.1% due to fiscal 2021 containing 53 weeks, with the additional week included in the fourth quarter. Sales for the fourth quarter came in at $536.3 million. Excluding the impact of the 53rd week, sales decreased 0.1% due to the closure of the Silver Spring, Md., store in February 2020, partly offset by the Fairway acquisition completed on May 14, 2020, and a 0.1% increase in same-store sales.
Gross profit as a percentage of sales decreased slightly to 28.31% for the fourth quarter, compared with 28.91% last year, due primarily to decreased departmental gross margin percentages (0.29%) and increased warehouse assessment charges from Wakefern (0.75%), partly offset by a change in product mix (0.21%) and lower promotional spending (0.22%).
Although same-store digital sales decreased 22% during the fourth quarter, they increased 68% in fiscal 2021 versus fiscal 2020. Also, on a two-year stacked basis, same-store digital sales increased 219%. Village Super Market credited its accelerated digital sales growth to both the ShopRite from Home program and partnerships with online grocery-picking and delivery services.
Additionally, sales were $2.03 billion in fiscal 2021, compared with $1.80 billion in fiscal 2020.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Village Super Market said that it has experienced higher average basket sizes and decreased transaction counts as customers consolidated shopping trips. Food inflation and increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits also both positively affected sales.
However, fiscal 2021 sales at Fairway and Gourmet Garage locations in Manhattan have been significantly dented due to residents moving out of the city as a result of the pandemic, in addition to less commuter and tourist traffic.
Village Super Market’s net income in fiscal 2021 was $20 million, a decrease of 20% compared with $24.9 million in fiscal 2020.
The largest retailer-owned grocery cooperative in the United States. Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp. comprises nearly 50 members that independently own and operate 363 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage, and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The company is No. 23 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 listing of North America’s top food and consumables retailers in North America.