The North West Company saw sales increase spike 19.8 per cent to $592.6 million in its first quarter 2020 ending April 30, with same-store sales leading the gams across all regions.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak our customers and communities have relied on North West's role as a trusted, essential service provider," says president and CEO Edward Kennedy. "Across the company, our people have provided an exceptional response to this call. They have adapted to a range of new work conditions, especially within our front-line positions, and they have sought out innovative solutions to the many safety and product supply challenges that were completely unexpected two months ago. While business volumes have been generally very strong, we recognize the overall COVID-19 situation remains uncertain. Our planning continues to cover a range of COVID-19 severity scenarios as well as opportunities for growth in new areas over the remainder of 2020 and into next year."
Sales were driven by investments in lower prices and by COVID-19-related consumer income and spending changes. One extra day of sales as a result of February 29 was also a factor.
The North West Company Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides food and everyday products and services to rural communities and urban neighbourhoods in Canada, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. North West operates 250 stores under the trading names Northern, NorthMart, Giant Tiger, Alaska Commercial Company, Cost-U-Less and RiteWay Food Markets and has annualized sales of approximately $2 billion.