No Rowan stores affected as Food Lion closes 113 stores; Bloom will disappear

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 12, 2012

SALISBURY — Delhaize America announced Wednesday it would close 113 underperforming Food Lion stores and retire the Bloom banner. Approximately 4,900 jobs will be cut, according to a company release.
Delhaize America will convert 64 Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia to Food Lion stores.
Seven underperforming Bloom stores and six underperforming Bottom Dollar Food stores in overlapping Food Lion markets will be closed.
The Mooresville Bottom Dollar at 235 East Plaza Drive will be closed. It is the only store in the area affected by the changes.
A distribution center in Clinton, Tenn., will be closed, but the company will maintain a transportation facility there. After the closing, Delhaize America will have 11 distribution centers across its network.
All the Food Lion stores in Florida will be closed.
The company plans to accelerate the rollout of the Food Lion brand in an additional 600 to 700 stores.
“Today’s actions will continue to solidify our U.S. operations and enable our company to focus on our successful brand strategy repositioning at Food Lion and the expansion of Bottom Dollar Food in new markets,” said Ron Hodge, CEO of Delhaize America in a news release. “While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, we believe these actions will enable us to better serve our customers in our markets with high density, while positioning the company for future growth.”
All affected stores will close within 30 days.
The company will provide severance to eligible associates. Most associates working at converted stores will continue to work at these locations.
While Delhaize America will no longer operate the Food Lion banner in Florida, it will continue its Sweetbay and Harveys banners in the state.
The company is increasing its density of Food Lion stores in other states by converting Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores to Food Lion, specifically in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. After these actions are complete, Food Lion will operate in 10 states and have 1,127 stores.
“Food Lion is focused on repositioning our business for future growth,” said Cathy Green Burns, president of Food Lion. “By closing underperforming stores, we will continue to position Food Lion for success, especially in light of our brand strategy results.”
Delhaize America is converting 22 Bottom Dollar Food stores in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia to Food Lion stores, and closing six underperforming stores in North Carolina and Virginia to focus on markets that provide the greatest opportunity for growth for the banner, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio. The Bottom Dollar Food stores being closed or converted are the banner’s larger format stores. Bottom Dollar Food will now operate its business with smaller format stores of about 18,000 square feet, which have proved to be more successful formats for the banner.
Bottom Dollar Food will open 14 stores in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, by the end of the first quarter, and expects to open another 10 to 15 stores by year-end in its new markets.
“Bottom Dollar Food is a strong, emerging banner that is continuing to grow and be successful in our new markets,” said Meg Ham, president of Bottom Dollar Food. “Customers have been very receptive to our discount-grocer model, which includes a smaller format, the most popular national brands, a wide selection of private brand products, and fresh produce and quality meats at unbelievably low prices. We look forward to continuing to grow and win in our new markets.”
After the moves, Bottom Dollar Food will have 43 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio.
The 42 Bloom stores in Virginia and Maryland will become Food Lion stores. Seven underperforming Bloom stores will close.
Delhaize America has more than 1,600 stores in 16 states under the banners Bottom Dollar Food, Food Lion, Harveys, Hannaford Supermarkets, Reid’s and Sweetbay.
Delhaize America employs approximately 107,000 full-time and part-time workers.