SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here plans to invest $60 million in capital expenditures this year to upgrade approximately 15% of its retail square footage, Joseph V. Fisher, president and chief executive officer, told the company's annual meeting last week.
to fund improvements in Penn Traffic's distribution, manufacturing and technology infrastructure, he added.
Penn Traffic's goal, Fisher said, is to operate "conveniently located, modern supermarkets with a strong emphasis on quality perishables and customer service that provide our customers with a pleasant shopping experience.
"With a clear vision of who we are, our management and associates did a great job implementing our business plan last year, and we're off to a very good start again this year," Fisher declared.
In his remarks, Fisher also outlined several cost-cutting measures that are being implemented, including the following:
Work simplification programs and improved scheduling of employees, which are designed to improve productivity and customer service.
Logistics improvements, including improved truck routing and trailer utilization, which are designed to reduce distribution costs.
Continued reductions in inventory shrink expense.
Commencement of the use of business-to-business electronic commerce to reduce the cost of non-resaleable products.
Fisher also discussed the chain's four branded perishables programs: Bakery Fresh and Fresh 'N Ready, introduced in Penn Traffic's bakery and deli departments, respectively, last year; Garden Fresh Produce, also introduced last year; and Gold Label meats, introduced in the fall of 1999. "We are optimistic that our relentless execution of our four branded perishable programs will result in increases in customer satisfaction and sales," Fisher told the annual meeting.
He also said the Wild Card loyalty program introduced last year at its 70 Big Bear stores in Ohio and West Virginia has signed up more than 1 million customers. The company expects to continue to roll out the card program in other divisions later this year, Fisher added.