Albertsons Reports Strong Grocery Sales Growth Amid Pandemic

Albertsons Cos. reported stronger sales growth than some rival food sellers as consumers continue to buy more groceries than usual during the coronavirus pandemic.

After booking strong sales to consumers who spent most of 2020 cooking at home, Albertsons and other grocers are working to keep sales momentum and hold on to customers who they hope will make some of their pandemic-era eating habits permanent. Many consumers are shopping for groceries less frequently, buying greater amounts of food when they do and at times splurging on premium food products.

“We continue to see fewer trips per household but larger baskets,” Albertsons Chief Executive Vivek Sankaran said Tuesday on a call.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons said sales at stores open at least 15 months, excluding fuel, rose 12.3% for the quarter ended Dec. 5. While the sales growth reflected a slight decline from the prior quarter, when the company posted a 13.8% increase, it beat expectations and was higher than sales growth at other grocers such as Kroger Co. and Walmart Inc.

“We are encouraged that customers spending more time at home are looking to us,” Mr. Sankaran said.

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