Stewart Shops saw overall sales fall in 2009 due to a decline in gas prices, but in-store sales and profits grew for the year, company officials told the Albany Business Review.
Sales in 2009 for Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Stewart’s, which has 327 stores in upstate New York and southern Vermont, totaled $1.26 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in 2008.
But while total sales declined, operating profits increased about 10%, said Gary Dake, company president. One reason for the gain was a shift from selling national brand products to those with the Stewart’s private label. The company also spent less on utilities for its stores and on gas for its delivery trucks because of a decline in energy prices.
“Our stability means we have continued growth versus making any drastic operational changes or layoffs,” Dake told the Albany Business Review. “We also expect to increase our number of shops in 2010, as well as renovate and rebuild more of our existing shops.”
Stewart’s actually sold more gallons of gasoline in 2009 than the year before, but because prices fell, the revenue was less, noted Spokesman Tom Mailey. Stewart’s sells about 4 million gallons of gasoline per week.