First quarter net sales at Dollar General were up more than 4% as new stores were cited as the key driver of growth. However, the company reported that comparable store sales were flat.
Net sales for the quarter ended April 29 were up 4.2% to $8.8 billion compared to $8.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021. Same store sales were down 0.1% with a decline in customer traffic cited as the key factor. Several categories including seasonal, apparel and home products were down in the quarter with increases in the consumables category helping offset declines.
The company reported net income of $552.7 million for the first quarter of 2022, a decrease of 18.5% compared to $677.7 million in the first quarter of 2021. Diluted earnings per share decreased 14.5% to $2.41 for the first quarter of 2022 compared to diluted earnings per share of $2.82 in the first quarter of 2021.
As of April 29, total merchandise inventories, at cost, were $6.1 billion compared to $5.1 billion as of April 30,2021, an increase of 13.3% on a per-store basis. This increase primarily reflects the impact of product cost inflation and a greater mix of higher-value products.
“Despite ongoing headwinds due to supply chain pressures and heightened inflation, we remained focused on controlling what we can control and delivered solid financial results,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer.
During the first quarter, the company executed more than 800 real estate projects, and made “significant progress advancing” its key strategic initiatives designed to enhance the value and convenience proposition for its customers.
The company reiterated its plans to execute 2,980 real estate projects in fiscal year 2022, including 1,110 new store openings, 1,750 remodels, and 120 store relocations.