ZAANDAM, Netherlands -- Ahold here last week said its sales in the U.S. fell 1.2% in the first quarter, to $8.18 billion, compared with last year's first-quarter results.
The company said the divestment of the Golden Gallon convenience-store chain in 2003 lowered sales by about 1.5% for the quarter, and the later Easter this year reduced sales by about 0.8%. Identical-store sales for the period fell 1.6%, and comparable-store sales, which include replacement stores, fell 1%.
The company said both its Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop and Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant chains had a "resilient performance." Stop & Shop's sales grew 1.9%, to $3.11 billion. Sales at Giant of Landover. Md., fell 0.5%, to $1.64 billion.
The company did not report individual results for its other banners, but it said sales at all other divisions of Ahold USA Retail combined fell 4.2%, to $3.4 billion. Total corporate sales for Ahold, which includes its U.S. Foodservice division and operations in Europe, South America and Asia, fell 11.3%, to 15.5 billion euros, or about $18.3 billion at current exchange rates. The company said that excluding lower currency exchange rates and divestments, sales were up about 1.3% for the period.
Sales excluding only the impact of the lower currency exchange rate were down 1.4% for the period.
Also last week Giant of Landover said it would lay off 270 headquarters personnel as it continues the process of merging with Stop & Shop, Barry Scher, vice president, public affairs, told SN. Giant said it offered another 430 employees jobs at Giant, and 38 Giant employees were offered positions at Stop & Shop.
Departments remaining in the Landover area include public affairs, consumer affairs, labor relations, real estate, transportation and others. The chain also is keeping the operations personnel for its two distribution centers. Departments being absorbed by Stop & Shop include human resources, finance, accounting, information technology, merchandising, marketing and others.
Store-level personnel at the company's 200 supermarkets will not be affected. Scher also confirmed reports that Giant would be adding baggers to its stores as it revamps its checkout lanes, which will include new point-of-sale systems.