LOS ANGELES -- Arden Group here said it's still enjoying the benefits of the 20-week strike-lockout in Southern California that diverted customers from its three biggest rivals before the dispute ended in March.
act settlement, sales have decreased significantly, as customers returned to their previous shopping patterns," the company said in a prepared release. "However, sales are still greater than comparable pre-strike periods, as the company has been successful in retaining some of the new shoppers that came to Gelson's during the labor dispute."
The United Food and Commercial Workers launched a strike against Safeway-owned Vons in October 2003, prompting a lockout by Albertsons and Kroger-owned Ralphs. The two sides reached a settlement on Feb. 29, and employees returned to work in March.
The company said it has achieved some economies of scale because of the increased sales. During the third quarter and first nine months, operating income increased 49.2%, to $6.97 million, and 113.9%, to $28.73 million, respectively. The gains in the nine-month period were partially offset by about $2.2 million in bonus payments to UFCW employees.
Net income in the third quarter was $4.4 million, up 47.9%, on a 12.2% gain in sales, to $113.4 million, compared with year-ago results. Through the first nine months, net income was up 107%, to $18.74 million, on a 26.4% sales gain, to $380.65 million.