For the first quarter ending April 30, net sales fell 0.6% to $8.4 billion. Same-store sales fell 4.6% during the quarter, but were actually up 17.1% on a two-year stack basis, Progressive Grocer reported. The quarterly decline was due to same-store sales and store closures, though new store sales showed more positive results.
The discount retailer noted additional stimulus checks from the federal government in March helped create larger baskets, with significant positive effect on sales in its non-consumable product categories. The company is also planning to open more than 1,000 new stores and hire up to 20,000 new employees.
While net sales were slightly down, operating profit increased 4.9% to $908.9 million with a 4.2% increase in net income of $677.7. The company raised its guidance for the rest of 2021, with an expectation that net sales will increase up to 1%, compared with its prior range of a flat-to-2% decline.
“We are pleased with our strong start to fiscal 2021, and I want to thank our associates for their unwavering commitment to supporting our customers, communities, and each other,” Vasos said. “As a testament to their efforts, our first-quarter results exceeded our expectations, reflecting strong underlying performance across the business, which we believe was enhanced by the most recent round of government stimulus payment. Given our first-quarter outperformance, we are raising our financial outlook for fiscal 2021.”