PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway here said acquisitions during 1999 helped boost sales and earnings for the first quarter ended March 25.
ermarkets, Houston, in September and Carr-Gottstein Foods Co., Anchorage, Alaska, in April.
Comparable store sales for the quarter rose 2.4%. The company indicated that, as expected, sales during the first two weeks of the quarter were soft because of year-end Y2K stockups; for the final 10 weeks of the quarter Safeway said comps rose 3.3%.
Net income increased 17.5% to $241.9 million.
Safeway has reportedly been unable to sell one of the seven Alaska stores it agreed to divest earlier this year. As previously reported, six stores were sold last fall, just before a court-imposed deadline, to a group of investors that included Associated Grocers, Seattle; those stores have since reopened under a new banner, Alaska Marketplace.
However, Safeway has been unable to find a buyer for a store at the University Center mall in Anchorage. According to a story in the Anchorage Daily News, Safeway had sought to give the store, plus $500,000, to AG, but the offer was declined.
Because the chain had agreed to sell all seven stores within 10 months of the merger's closing or pay the state $1 million for each store not divested, Safeway has been fined $500,000 and must continue operating the Anchorage store until it can find a buyer, the newspaper reported.