Food Lion axes 80 corporate positions

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Food Lion LLC announced Wednesday it has eliminated approximately 80 positions that either worked or reported directly to its Salisbury corporate headquarters.
Of the 80 people, 41 worked at either the Harrison Road or Executive Drive offices in Salisbury.
Other positions reported to headquarters from other states.
The job losses touch all banners under Food Lion LLC, including Harvey’s, Bottom Dollar and Bloom stores.
No local jobs are affected in the Food Lion distribution centers, retail stores or transportation area รณ only at the corporate offices.
Food Lion employs more than 73,000 people in 11 states, and the company remains one of Rowan County’s biggest employers.
Food Lion has a total corporate workforce in Salisbury of 1,750 people, and out of that total, 541 live in Salisbury. The company also employs 909 in distribution and 273 in its Salisbury stores, putting its total employment in the city at just under 3,000 people.
The layoffs at the headquarters are effective immediately.
Karen Peterson, corporate communications manager for Food Lion, said the people affected would receive a full severance package. She stressed the company, founded here in 1957, is proud to be a part of Salisbury and its goal is to remain a strong employer here for a long time. Still, to have layoffs affecting 80 families is painful, she said.
Peterson said in today’s economic environment the company couldn’t remain stagnant and continue business as usual without taking some actions.
“We have certainly remained strong,” Peterson said.
But certain operations have to be streamlined and some initiatives delayed, and those actions had an impact on the positions eliminated, Peterson said.
Food Lion Chief Executive Officer Rick Anicetti informed employees of the job eliminations Wednesday.
Of the 909 Food Lion distribution workers in Salisbury, 383 have Salisbury addresses.
Peterson said 309 people with Salisbury addresses work in Food Lion stores, but all do not work in Salisbury.