April same-store sales were up 21% for Albertsons — a huge increase, but one that remains overshadowed by its 47% sales skyrocket in March.
The Boise, Idaho-based retailer reported the numbers on April 30 as part of its fourth-quarter and full-year sales release. Strong penetration by the company’s store brands was mentioned as a reason for Albertsons' overall strong showing in its fiscal 2019 results, which included revenue $62.5 billion during the 53 weeks ended Feb 29, as well as gross profit margin up 28% versus fiscal 2018. The year also registered a 2.1% uptick in identical sales growth for the year. For its fourth quarter, Albertsons reported $15.4 billion in sales, up from the $14 billion it brought in a year ago, which mostly was attributed to an extra week in fiscal 2019's Q4. Gross profit for the quarter dipped less than a percentage point from the prior-year period to 28.6%.
Other highlights from the report were big results in digital sales growth, seeing a 32% increase in the fourth quarter and a 39% jump year over year.
"We are pleased that our momentum continued as we closed fiscal 2019, with improved performance on the top and bottom line,” said Vivek Sankaran, president and CEO. “However, the world has changed since then, and we are heavily focused on supporting our associates, our customers and the communities we serve as we respond to the increased demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sankaran continued to say the organization is “proud of the efforts of our store, distribution and manufacturing teams, whose work has been heroic in the face of this crisis, and we thank them for everything they continue to do. Both our stores and our online business are seeing significantly increased demand as consumers shift to more food-at-home."
Some final highlights from the report, Albertsons said its “Just for U” personalized loyalty program saw a 26% increase in registrations and a 37% increase in coupon redemptions.