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Food Lion - History, Heavy Competition, Store Closings

stores departments sales compete

Food Lion was originally known as Food Town when it was founded in 1957. The original store was located in Salisbury, North Carolina. Because some locations already had stores with the name of Food Town, the company’s name was changed to Food Lion. In the 1980s, Food Lion expanded its stores throughout the United States. Throughout the 1990s, Food Lion opened 100 new stores per year. In 1992, PrimeTime Live did a report on the Food Lion where it was alleged that Food Lion had unsanitary food practices. After receiving an anonymous tip. two ABC reporters, posing as Food Lion employees, witnessed unsanitary food practices. A lot of what was recorded came from videocameras the reporters hid in their wigs. The Food Lion sued ABC for fraud, claiming misrepresentation on the part of the supposed-employees. ABC was also sued for trespassing and for breach of loyalty as well.

Heavy Competition

New stores opened in Louisiana and Texas were performing poorly in projected sales. Food lion stores were very small and could not compete with bigger stores like Jewel-Osco and Kroger’s. These competitors also included Tom Thumb and Albertsons and had more varied features like pharmacies. In Texas, many stores sent most of their staff home early because business was so slow. Store sales declined by nearly 10%. The Food Lion was forced to stop its plans for expansion in Oklahoma , Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.

Store Closings

In 1994, store closings became an annual event. The company canceled leases for newer stores as well. Plans to expand to the Midwest were scrapped and Food Lion receded back to the East Coast. The Food Lion faced competition from new competitors with larger and more successful stores. These competitors included Publix, Harris Tetter, Whole Foods Market and Wal-Mart SuperCenters. Markets in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas closed as well. In 2003, Food Lion began remodeling the remaining stores and updating products. In 2006, Food Lion used demographic and geographic research to decide which stores to remodel and whether the stores should be branded as Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar or Reid’s.

Food Lion

Typical Food Lion store.

Although Food Lion failed to compete with larger stores in the past, they are currently increasing sales exponentially. They have low prices, and sales are backed by a MVP Card which is given out to any and every customer who requests one. The Food Lion has recently added pharmacies, butcher departments, deli departments, bakery departments and fresh seafood departments in order to compete with the amenities offered by larger and more successful stores. They also handle private label merchandise. The Food Lion is slowly, but surely regaining its nitch in the industry. There were nearly 1200 Food Lion stores left in 2006.

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almost 4 years ago

everytime i enter foodlion #1365 of in assiosatice name Reese always ready to assit me and he will stop what he doing to help to find what i need and get what i came in the store for im a 70 year old retired and i need that attention some time thank you reese for making my day better