Food Lion plans to unveil several upgrades in stores across the region Wednesday and to give away groceries to celebrate the changes.
The first 200 customers when the doors open at each Food Lion supermarket – 87 locations in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore and 15 in northeastern North Carolina – will receive a free bag of Food Lion’s private-label products. The bags will hold “a variety of items,” from crackers and cereal to aluminum foil, said Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Delhaize America, the U.S. division of the Belgian company that owns Food Lion.
The store changes are part of a new “brand strategy” that Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., developed in response to customer feedback and to remain competitive. The retailer reduced prices on 6,000 items, refreshed its produce selection, expanded its organic and natural products sections, refined its check-out process, improved customer service and made aisles easier to navigate, Phillips-Brown said.
“The strategy is all about making our stores easier and friendlier for customers to shop,” she said. “Price is important, as well as the experience they have in our stores.”
The local stores are among 268 in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina where Food Lion launched the new strategy Wednesday. Food Lion first tested the changes in May in Raleigh and Fayetteville in North Carolina and in Chattanooga, Tenn. It then asked customers for more feedback and tweaked the improvements before rolling them out to more stores, Phillips-Brown said.
The launch of the new upgrades was to coincide Wednesday with the conversion of the Bottom Dollar Food and Bloom supermarkets back to Food Lions. In January, the retailer announced that it would abandon its upscale Bloom concept and would close four of its no-frills, low-priced Bottom Dollar stores. The remaining six local Bottom Dollars would return to the Food Lion name along with seven local Bloom stores.
Food Lion also remodeled 20 stores, mostly older locations. Those remodels included stores in Newport News, Franklin, Emporia, Gloucester and Hayes and in Murfreesboro and Ahoskie in North Carolina.
Carolyn Shapiro, (757) 446-2270, firstname.lastname@example.org