Grocery chain cuts stores


D&W Fresh Market is one of the store brands by Byron Center-based SpartanNash. Courtesy SpartanNash

A locally based grocery store chain has cut a number of stores from its portfolio.

Byron Center-based SpartanNash said this week in its third-quarter earnings call that, as part of a “store rationalization plan” enacted a year ago, it has closed three stores and sold one to a food distribution customer.

Overall, the company said it ended the third quarter with 147 corporate-owned retail stores, down from 159 stores in the third quarter of 2016. The company did not disclose if it closed or sold the other stores.

Early in the fourth quarter, the company also closed one store and sold another.

Company representatives did not respond to calls for comment on where the store closings occurred and how many employees were affected. It is also unclear if more closures are planned in 2018.

In its third-quarter earnings statement, SpartanNash said its store portfolio changes reflect a “continued challenging retail environment and higher health care costs.”

SpartanNash reported an operating loss in its retail segment for third-quarter 2017 of $215.3 million, compared to operating income of $8 million in the same quarter last year.

Adjusted operating earnings were $8.5 million, compared to $12.4 million in the prior-year quarter.

Net sales for the retail segment were $463.6 million in the third quarter, compared to $489 million for the prior-year quarter.

The company said its decrease in net sales was “primarily attributable” to $16.7 million in lower sales resulting from the closure and sale of stores and a 2.5-percent decrease in comparable store sales, excluding fuel.

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