COLTON, Calif. -- Stater Bros. here said last week the 20-week strike-lockout in Southern California helped drive significant sales growth in fiscal 2004, but the company's sales and profit gains continued after the labor dispute ended in March.
le-store sales were up 13.4%.
For the fiscal year, the company posted net income of $71.8 million, more than seven times the net income of $10.13 million the company reported in fiscal 2003. Sales for the full year were up 34.5%, to $3.7 billion, and comparable-store sales increased 30.3% over fiscal 2003 levels.
The strike-lockout in Southern California, which began in October 2003, took place completely within the recently ended fiscal year of Stater Bros., which reaped additional business while United Food and Commercial Workers members struck the stores of rival Vons and were locked out of Albertsons and Ralphs.
In its fourth-quarter earnings release, Stater Bros. described the impact of the strike-lockout as "unprecedented" and said it did not expect it to be repeated in the future.
"We have been able to protect our sales base by focusing on customer service and value, the core of the Stater Bros. concept," said Jack H. Brown, chairman, president and chief executive officer.