Unified Grocers Seeks Balance Post Q3 of 2016 After Haggen Phase Out

Wed. August 17th, 2016 - by Melissa De Leon Chavez

LOS ANGELES, CA - Coming out of its third quarter for fiscal year 2016, Unified Grocers reported just under the bar in sales, but an overall positive outlook after phasing out Haggen Pacific Southwest.

Bob Ling, President & CEO, Unified Grocers Inc.

“I’m pleased about our performance to date in 2016,” Bob Ling, President and Chief Executive Officer of Unified Grocers, commented in the financial report. “The goal for this year was to get on track as we wound down the Haggen Pacific Southwest business, and the year-to-date results show we’re doing that. With borrowing availability under our revolving loan agreement of $127 million we have the liquidity we need to execute the strategies we have in place to further improve our operations and grow sales.”

Details from the quarter included: 

  • Gross billings for the 39 weeks ended July 2, 2016 of $2.914 billion, compared to $2.996 billion for the same period last year.
  • Operating income of $5.2 million for the 2016 period compared to $2.1 million in the same period last year.
  • Gross billings for the 13 weeks ended July 2, 2016 (the “2016 quarter”) of $974 million compared to $1.070 billion for the same period last year.

“We are particularly pleased that we were able to maintain a similar operating income performance to last year’s third quarter in light of the loss of sales from the Haggen Pacific Southwest business,” Ling continued. The retailer attributed the majority of its decline in sales to the loss of business from Haggen’s Pacific Southwest division, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September of 2015.

Now, Unified looks to focus on expense control and warehouse efficiencies, remaining positive that it will phase out those losses.

Long Beach Convention Center, where Unified’s annual Expo is taking place this week

“Looking at the bigger picture, there are many success stories around the organization,” Ling added. “Our Market Centre division continues to find new ways to help our members differentiate themselves in the fast-growing specialty and natural business. We have also successfully transitioned our Southern California dairy business through a preferred supplier arrangement with Dean Foods, and our Members now have access to a wider range of general merchandise and health, beauty, and wellness products through our membership in Topco.”

As for what’s to come, Ling expressed excitement for all the new products the company will be showcasing to customers and members at its annual Expo, which kicked off today, August 17th.

“Unified’s annual Expo is the largest, best-attended grocery trade show in the western U.S. and I’m confident that this year’s event will be valuable for all participants,” the President and CEO concluded.

The Expo takes place in Long Beach, CA, at the Long Beach Convention Center until 5:00 p.m. today, and resumes for one more day tomorrow, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Unified Grocers