Digital sales at grocery chain operator Albertsons Cos. Inc. grew 5% year over year for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Feb. 26, 2022.
The growth in digital sales topped large, pandemic-fueled gains during the previous fiscal year. On a two-year stacked basis, which compared fiscal year 2021 to the pre-pandemic fiscal 2019, digital sales growth was 287% in Q4 and 263% for the year.
During an April 12 conference call with analysts, Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran said the retailer continued to see a rebound with in-store traffic and the benefits from its digital and omnichannel investments. The investments include the expansion of Drive Up & Go curbside pickup service and the addition of micro-fulfillment centers, bringing the total to seven.
“Omnichannel households spent three times more than in-store-only shoppers,” Sankaran said during the call, according to a transcript posted at Nasdaq.com. “And during Q4, omnichannel households grew by nearly five times versus the fourth quarter of 2019.”
He did not offer specific numbers.
The retailer does its digital business mainly on mobile devices. Sankaran said customers using Albertsons’ mobile app placed 87% of digital orders by the end of the fiscal year.
Albertsons focuses on loyalty
Sankaran added that membership in the retailer’s Just for U loyalty program increased 18% year over year to nearly 30 million members and is up by about 9 million members since the fourth quarter of 2019.
“Actively engaged members, defined as those redeeming coupons, fuel, or grocery rewards, also continued to increase,” he said.
“Our next priority is the acceleration of our digital and omnichannel capabilities to fuel our growth and increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention,” he added.
Albertsons Companies operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia with more than 20 well-known banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Haggen, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market.
Albertsons, which launched an initial public offering on June 25, 2020, announced in February that it began a “board-led review of potential strategic alternatives aimed at enhancing Albertsons’ growth and maximizing shareholder value.”
The review will assess “various balance sheet optimization and capital return strategies, potential strategic or financial transactions and development of other strategic initiatives to complement Albertsons’ existing businesses, as well as responding to inquiries,” the retailer reported. Albertsons retained investment bankers Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse to serve as financial advisors to assist in this review.
For the fourth quarter ended Feb. 26, 2022. Albertsons reported:
- Identical sales increased 7.5%. Identical sales growth was 19.3% on a two-year stacked basis.
Digital sales increased 5%. Digital sales growth was 287% on a two-year stacked basis.
- Total revenue of 17.384 billion, up 10.5% compared with $15.722 billion for the comparable quarter a year earlier.
- Net income of $455.1 million, compared with a loss of $144.2 million a year earlier.
For the fiscal year ended Feb. 26, 2022. Albertsons reported:
- Identical sales decreased 0.1%. Identical sales growth was 16.8% on a two-year stacked basis.
Digital sales increased 5%. Digital sales growth was 263% on a two-year stacked basis.
- Total revenue of $71.877 billion, up 3.2% compared with $69.690 billion during FY 2020.
- Net income of $1.620 billion, up 90.5% compared with FY 2020.
Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.
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