The 11-day strike by members of the United Food & Commercial Workers’ New England affiliates cost the Stop & Shop supermarket chain between $90 million and $110 million, according to the chain’s parent company Ahold Delhaize.
The Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize came to its figure based on lost sales – the strike spanned the Passover and Easter holidays, when grocery shopping activity spikes – along with perishable food that was donated to food banks or spoiled and the increased costs to staff stores and handle freight needs during the strike. Adding to the losses were the Teamsters union, which showed its support to the strikers by forcing its warehouse workers and drivers not to load trucks for deliveries to Stop & Shop stores.
“As a consequence, Ahold Delhaize now anticipates underlying operating margin for the group for 2019 to be slightly lower than 2018,” said the company in a statement. “Additionally, the percentage growth of underlying earnings per share in 2019 is revised from high single digits to low single digits.”
The company added that its first-quarter financial results will not be affected by the strike, but it would provide more details on the strike’s impact when the results are published on May 8.