Weis Markets spending $109M on store upgrades

//April 30, 2019

Weis Markets spending $109M on store upgrades

//April 30, 2019

A Weis Markets store in Hampden Township, Cumberland County. (Photo: File)

Supermarket chain Weis Markets plans to invest heavily this year in store construction and remodeling projects in a bid to fuel sales.

After spending $101 million last year on upgrades, the Northumberland County-based company said last week that it will spend $109 million this year.

The capital improvement plan includes opening a new store in Bucks County, remodeling 14 stores, adding six fuel centers and making other investments in its supply chain and information technology.

Weis officials said the company is still working through local approvals for many of the remodeling projects, so a list of affected stores was not available.

“We’re reasonably certain they will be approved but do not get into specifics until we have all of our approvals,” said Dennis Curtin, a company spokesman.

That said, the company has begun to make over its store in Lower Allen Township, Cumberland County, where it plans to add a beer and wine cafe.

Weis also is in the process of replacing existing self-checkout systems throughout its store network, which spans about 200 stores in seven states across the Mid-Atlantic.

Hoping to keep pace with other retailers and compete against online giants such as Amazon, Weis has been making big investments in technology, including online ordering and delivery service.

“Our e-commerce investments helped generate a 33.2 percent increase in our online sales,” CEO Jonathan Weis said. “Today we offer online ordering with curbside pickup in 125 stores while 174 of our stores off home delivery via Shipt, a leading online delivery service.”

Weis said the company will be focusing more on online growth in the coming years.

Weis finished 2018 with a record $3.51 billion in sales, up from $3.47 billion in 2017. But the company’s annual net income fell to $62.7 million last year, down from $98.4 million in 2017.

Officials said the company’s 2017 profits were higher because of tax-related savings from the federal tax overhaul.

Shares of Weis stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WMK.