SAN ANTONIO — Sixty percent of food retailers surveyed said they had higher customer counts in 2012, according to a new report from Food Marketing Institute, although average sales growth was below inflation.

The Food Retailing Financial and Business Review 2013, released here at the FMI Financial Executive Conference, found that same-store sales increases in the industry averaged 1.6% in 2012, excluding fuel. The average was 2.3% including fuel.

However, the report noted that 72.3% of companies reported sales gains below the preliminary rate of food-at-home inflation of 2.6%.


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Retailers with more than 50 stores fared much better on average than smaller operators, with average same-store sales gains of 3.9% vs. 0.9% gains for those with 50 stores or fewer. Average weekly sales per store totaled $347,815.

Looking ahead, the report found that 78% of food retailers expect their total sales to improve in 2013, and 63% expect an improvement in net income.

The report, based on data compiled by 210 Analytics from 66 food retailers, also covered a range of other financial topics, including profitability, staffing levels, shrink and capital expenditures.

Among other findings, almost all respondents — 96% — said they expect health care reform to increase their expenses in 2014, and 88% said they expect the Affordable Care Act to increase their expenses in 2013.

 

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