Toronto Star

Same-store sales up by 7.3 per cent

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with a profit of $154.6 million or 57 cents per share a year earlier when the results were boosted by unusually large property disposals by Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust that added six cents per share.

Sales in the quarter totalled nearly $6.98 billion, up from nearly $6.44 billion in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales, a key metric for retailers, were up 7.3 per cent. Excluding fuel, same-store sales were up 8.7 per cent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the operations of retailers, which have invested more resources into health and safety for employees, and in some cases have offered pay raises to workers.

On a call with analysts Thursday, Medline said the company was taking steps to prepare for reduced capacity in its stores this winter, by adding outdoor structures and heaters to shelter customers waiting in lines outside and by offering virtual queuing technology to streamline the process.

Sobeys said in November that it was bringing back pay premiums for employees in cities that have seen new lockdown restrictio­ns due to COVID-19, after offering raises earlier in the year.

Sobeys also said in October that it was committed to negotiatin­g with vendors about fees,

after groups complained about other major food retailers like Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Walmart Canada unilateral­ly hiking fees on suppliers. Food retailers charge their suppliers fees to cover costs such as marketing and distributi­on.

Empire’s planned e-commerce expansion in Alberta comes as online grocery sales in

Canada continue to grow, although at a slower pace than at the start of the pandemic, the company said in a news release.

Empire’s e-commerce business saw growth of 241 per cent in the second quarter compared to the prior year, as a second wave of virus cases led to new lockdown measures in many parts of the country.

 ?? SOBEYS INC. ?? Empire Co. Ltd., the company behind the Sobeys, says it will launch Voilà curbside pickup service in Alberta next year.
SOBEYS INC. Empire Co. Ltd., the company behind the Sobeys, says it will launch Voilà curbside pickup service in Alberta next year.

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