Three months after the soft launch of its new rewards program in Quebec, Metro says Moi counts 2.2 million members across the food retailer’s five banners (Metro, Super C, Première Moisson, Brunet and Jean Coutu).
Since May, Metro has added one million new members to Moi, president and CEO Eric La Flèche told analysts on the company’s third quarter earnings call Wednesday (August 9).
He said Metro is also seeing a higher basket spend from Moi customers across all banners.
The program builds on metro&moi, which the retailer debuted in 2010.
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“The sign-up of a million new members is ahead of our schedule, so [we’re] very pleased with that,” La Flèche said. “It was really a strong launch in Quebec. People are responding well across all of our banners… We're very confident that we're going to see more and more cross-shop and cross-redemption of the points into our stores. So, a successful launch but a lot of work ahead. The RBC partnership is off to a good start too, so we'll be monitoring those results going forward.”
Metro reported net earnings of $346.7 million in the third quarter of 2023, an increase of 26.1% compared to the prior year quarter.
The increase is due in part to a tax benefit. Capital losses previously disallowed by the Canada Revenue Agency have now been granted.
Adjusted net earnings were $314.8 million, an increase of 10.9%.
Sales reached $6.43 billion, up 9.6%. Food same-store sales increased 9.4%, while online food sales were up 99%, driven by higher partnership sales.
Food basket inflation was about 8%, down from the previous quarter.
La Flèche said the increase in food same-store sales was driven by the ongoing shift to its discount banners, Super C and Food Basics.
He also said Metro’s private label sales continue to outpace national brands.
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“As we begin our fourth quarter, we are seeing some moderation in food inflation. Compared to last year, the number of price increase requests received from suppliers in Q3 are down about 40%,” La Flèche said. “However, the size of the increases remains higher than normal in the mid to high single digits. That's on top of many double digit increases last year. So we're tracking input costs and our teams are negotiating the best possible costs to minimize retail price inflation.”
Metro has opened five new stores so far this year: one Metro, two Super Cs and one Food basics, in addition to converting a Metro into a Super C in Gatineau, Que.
“We also carried out major renovations in seven stores representing a net increase of 153,000 square feet or 0.7% of our food retail network,” François Thibault, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, told analysts.
Metro’s results come as some 3,700 of its workers in the Greater Toronto Area remain on strike, impacting 27 stores in the region since July 29.
“We are clearly disappointed given that we have worked constructively with the union and the employees' bargaining committee to reach a very good agreement providing significant pay increases that they unanimously recommended to the employees. We remain committed to the bargaining process and look forward to a resolution and the reopening of our stores as soon as possible, while ensuring the long term competitiveness of our company,” La Flèche said.