Giant Sales Up, Despite Tough Times
There is a small bright spot for grocery chain Giant amid the economic gloom-and-doom. Sales at Giant and its sister chain Stop & Shop, based near Boston, were up 4.4 percent to $3.9 billion during the third quarter compared to the same period last year.
At Giant, sales at stores open at least a year were up .6 percent, excluding fuel, a rare positive gain for a chain that has struggled to find its niche in an increasingly competitive market. Giant's parent company, Dutch conglomerate Royal Ahold, posted a 3.9 percent increase in third-quarter revenue to $7.3 billion. But profit fell nearly 9 percent to $244 million, reflecting higher taxes and lower income from some joint ventures.
Ahold Chief Executive John Rishton said he was pleased with the results, particularly at Giant and Stop & Shop, but cautioned that strong economic headwinds remain.
"The price investments made in recent years have strengthened the competitive position of all our banners, but we remain vigilant and will respond to changes in consumer and competitor behavior," he said in statement.
--Ylan Q. Mui
November 20, 2008; 11:46 AM ET
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