Middling results but Fairway plans to add more stores

February 10, 2014 01:26PM

Grocery store Fairway, one of the biggest retail leasers of 2013, hit a financial snag in the year’s final quarter.

Fairway Group Holdings Corp., which went public in an IPO in April, has since sputtered along with worse-than-expected losses every quarter, according to Bloomberg data. In the most recent three-month period, ending Dec. 29, the grocery chain reported a net loss of $31 million, or 74 cents per share. Same-store sales also fell by 1.7 percent in the quarter, though overall quarterly revenues jumped 23 percent to $206 million. Fairway attributed the rise in sales to the opening of several new store locations and the reopening of the Sandy-damaged Red Hook store.

Over the last year Fairway has picked up a number of leases, including one for 46,000 square feet of space at the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards and 52,000 square feet at 255 Greenwich Street, near the World Trade Center and competitor Whole Foods’ Tribeca outpost. But the growth comes amid increasing competition, including the opening of a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn near Fairway’s Red Hook location.

In a conference call cited by Crain’s, Fairway Executive Chairman Charles Santoro called the Q4 environment “difficult” and noted that holiday sales were slower than usual. Still, he said Fairway will continue growing its presence in and around New York City. Currently, the market has 14 locations. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland