NY grocer Fairway gains in market debut
Shares of Fairway had a strong trading debut Wednesday, as the popular New York metro area grocery store chain outlined plans to expand its footprint.
The company priced the stock at $13 per share, above its forecast of $10 to $12. The shares closed up $4.35, or 33.46 percent, at $17.35.
Fairway is well-known among New York shoppers for offering relatively low prices and cramming its shelves with a wide assortment of groceries. The company, known for its "Like No Other Market" slogan, began as a fruit and vegetable stand in 1933 and has since expanded to a dozen locations in the region, including in Connecticut and New Jersey.
The company expects net proceeds of about $158.8 million from the IPO. Fairway plans to open two new stores in 2014 and three to four stores a year after that.
Fairway is looking to grow at a time when the supermarket industry is facing greater competition from big-box retailers, drugstores and even dollar stores.
Sterling Investment Partners bought an 80 percent stake in Fairway in 2007.
In the fiscal year ended April 1, 2012, Fairway had revenue of $554.9 million, up 14 percent from a year earlier. It booked a loss of $36.7 million last year, and a loss of $39 million a year earlier, due to the cost of opening new stores.
Fairway is trading under the ticker FWM on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
-- With Keiko Morris