Results of the 2008 Independent Grocery and Supermarket Survey Announced

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The National Grocers Association (N.G.A.) and Financial Management Solutions (FMS, Inc.) release survey results showing a solid net profit before taxes of 1.52 percent and increased green energy interest.

retailers are feeling the impact of energy costs from both sides, internal costs are increasing and consumers' budgets are tightening.

The N.G.A. and FMS, Inc. (http://www.FMSSolutions.com) released results from their comprehensive, year-long "2008 Independent Operators Survey" today showing a solid 1.52 percent net profit before taxes. Total store gross margins improved by 76 basis points over last year. Single Store operators showed a stronger net profit before taxes while multi-store operators slipped below their high of 2.44 percent last year.

For the first time in the six years of this survey, energy policy and energy tax concerns placed a strong second behind healthcare reform in the list of political concerns for retailers. When retailers were asked if they could only choose one type of tax change or reform to pass this year, 22 percent selected improving tax incentives for environmentally friendly practices. This was second to overall corporate tax rate reductions. According to Robert Graybill, Vice President FMS, Inc, "retailers are feeling the impact of energy costs from both sides, internal costs are increasing and consumers' budgets are tightening."

"The results of this survey provide excellent bench marking information for independent retailers" said Frank DiPasquale, Senior Vice President of the National Grocers Association. "Retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers continue to show resiliency in a very turbulent market with increases in energy and commodities at a seldom seen level. Additionally, health care costs continue to increase at a double digit rates. Unlike other industries like the airline industry, supermarket operators continue to focus on service and other points of differentiation to buttress the consumer's negative responses to continued price increases."

The "2008 Independent Operators Survey," in existence since 2002, is designed to help independent retail grocers and independent supermarkets better understand how their store operations compare with national averages and other retailers of similar size. This year's survey was completed by FMS and N.G.A. and included over 50 questions ranging from financial and accounting benchmarking, economic factors and key political issues impacting the industry.
The survey is now available to all N.G.A. members at a cost of $75 per copy and to non-members for $300 per copy. Shipping and Handling is an additional $12.00. To order a copy of the 2008 survey, visit the FMS, Inc. website at http://www.FMSSolutions.com or call 877-435-9400 ext 1224. Or visit N.G.A.'s website at http://www.nationalgrocers.org or call 703-516-0700.

About the National Grocers Association: The N.G.A. is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. Most independent operators are serviced by wholesale distributors, while others may be partially or fully self-distributing. Some are publicly traded but with controlling shares held by the family and others are employee owned. Independents are the true "entrepreneurs" of the grocery industry and dedicated to their customers, associates, and communities. N.G.A. members include retail and wholesale grocers, state grocers associations, as well as manufacturers and service suppliers.

About FMS Solutions, Inc.: With headquarters in Pasadena, Maryland, FMS Solutions provides approximately 1,800 independent retail grocer and independent supermarket operations with financial, accounting and consulting services such as industry benchmarking, best practices and mission-critical decision support.

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Bob Graybill

Christine Cunnick
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