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    Stewart's Shops Sales Up 5 Percent in '08

    Company also reports 7 percent profit jump.

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Stewart’s Shops reported $1.3 billion in sales at its 326 shops in 2008, up 5 percent from the previous year, according to a report in The Business Review.

    The company also reported profits up 7 percent in 2008 over 2007.

    Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake said "many companies have gravitated to higher prices" but Stewart's has focused on "food items such as our award winning milk, ice cream and coffee, so we are more than a convenience store that is primarily selling cigarettes, beer and gasoline, which have seen declining sales," the report stated.

    Stewart’s will build several new stores in the coming year, and will renovate some existing ones, but did not provide details on where, according to the report.

    Additionally, Dake said no layoffs are planned.

    "It is a pleasure to look our partners in the eye and tell them there are no layoffs and we are continuing to expand," Dake said in the report, "especially since they own a third of the company."

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