Weiss Markets affected by shortened holiday in Q4

Weis Markets cited a shortened holiday season among the reasons for a decline in fourth quarter and year-to-date sales.

The company reported $686.4 million in fourth-quarter sales for the 13-week period ended Dec. 28, 2013, representing a decline of 1.1% as compared to the year-ago period. Comparable store sales for the same period were down 3.5%.

In 2013, the company's sales totaled $2.7 billion, down 0.3% compared to 2012. Comparable store sales for the 52-week period ending Dec. 28 declined 2.6%.

Along with the shortened holiday season, the company's fourth quarter results were impacted by a decline in food stamp/SNAP spending in its stores, all of which impacted sales in key center store categories, the Pennsylvania grocer stated. Its results were also affected by fuel price deflation, which resulted in lower retail gas sales. Deli sales were also lower due to manufacturer recalls.

Weis' year-to-date results were impacted by the trends affecting its fourth quarter results: stagnant sales performance in key center store categories, lower comparable store gas sales due to significant fuel price deflation and a decline in SNAP sales, all of which accelerated in the fourth quarter.