COLTON, Calif. -- Stater Bros. Holdings here said severe drops in sales and earnings for the first quarter ended Dec. 28, 2004, reflected the difficult comparisons the chain faces following a year in which it benefited from disruptions in normal shopping patterns caused by the Southern California strike-lockout.
er, said. "While sales have declined, we are pleased with the amount of new customers we have been able to retain, and we are determined to maintain that level."
Stater operates 160 supermarkets in Southern California. The chain's financial results jumped after the labor dispute began in October 2003 when clerks struck Vons and Pavilions stores, and were locked out of Albertsons and Ralphs stores, prompting consumers to seek alternative grocery options.