Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. (NYSE:HTSI) (the “Company”) today reported that sales for the 52 weeks ended October 2, 2012 increased by 5.8% to $4.54 billion from $4.29 billion in fiscal 2011. Sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 increased by 3.7% to $1.14 billion from $1.10 billion in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011. The increase in sales for the year and quarter was driven by an increase in comparable store sales and sales from new stores, partially offset by store closings. Comparable store sales increased by 3.97% for the year, and 3.01% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, from the respective comparable periods of fiscal 2011.
During fiscal 2012, the Company closed its previously announced purchase and sale agreement between the Company’s subsidiary Harris Teeter, Inc. (“Harris Teeter”) and Lowes Food Stores, Inc. (“Lowes Foods”) (the “Lowes Foods Transaction”). Per the agreement Harris Teeter acquired ten Lowes Foods store locations in the central Carolinas region and Lowes Foods acquired six Harris Teeter store locations in western North Carolina. The majority of the stores acquired by Harris Teeter were temporarily closed for remodeling, stocking and training of employees. Six of the acquired stores were re-opened during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. Subsequent to the fiscal year end, two of the acquired stores were re-opened under a new format and banner - “201central.” The 201central format features a worldwide variety of wine, beer, specialty foods and other selected merchandise.
During fiscal 2012, the Company opened thirteen new stores (which includes six of the stores acquired from Lowes Foods and one replacement for a store closed in the first quarter) and closed eight stores (comprised of the six stores sold to Lowes Foods, one replacement that opened in fiscal 2012 and one replacement which is expected to open in fiscal 2013). In addition, one store located in the Washington D.C. market has been temporarily closed while the Company repairs damage caused by flooding that occurred in the third quarter of fiscal 2012. The Company operated 208 stores as of the end of fiscal 2012 and retail square footage increased by 4.5% in fiscal 2012, as compared to an increase of 3.2% in fiscal 2011.