Food Lion launches new effort to win back customers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2014

SALISBURY — Food Lion has unveiled a new strategy and multi-year initiative to try to make shopping easier at the company’s more than 1,100 stores while keeping prices low.
Based in Salisbury, the grocery chain on Wednesday released a new logo and slogan, “Easy, Fresh and Affordable…You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day.”
“Today, we are officially embarking on a new strategy to make shopping easier for our customers,” President Beth Newlands Campbell said in a news release. “Our customers have told us that they want a grocery experience where it’s easy to shop, easy to save and easy to figure out what is for dinner tonight.
“Based on their feedback and continuing to build on Food Lion’s longstanding heritage of low prices and convenient locations, we will work to own the easiest full shop experience in the Southeast, anchored by a strong commitment to freshness, affordability and the communities we serve.”
Newlands Campbell took the helm at Food Lion last year, tapped as president during a management shake-up by parent company Delhaize America. She has been working to turn around the troubled grocery chain and restore customer loyalty.
Food Lion’s strategy has started to roll out across the chain. By the end of June, the company will have completed the first step: new training for the company’s 63,000 employees to put the customer first and deliver on their expectations every day.
“For our customers to trust us, they need to be able to go into any Food Lion store and have a consistently great experience,” Newlands Campbell said. “This is why our efforts to improve customer service and ensure our products are always fresh are so important. We want our customers to know that they can count on their local Food Lion team to meet their needs and serve their local community.”
The new strategy includes a variety of elements, both large and small, spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said. New blue bags are a small change that makes a big impact for customers, she said. The blue bags are used for cold and frozen items to make them easily identifiable and make unpacking groceries easy for customers at home, especially in warmer months.
An example of a big change is expanding product variety based on consumer research, she said.
Food Lion also plans what the company calls “transformational changes,” such as storewide remodels, over time. Food Lion’s newest store format — a store in Concord — will launch in 29 Wilmington stores this summer.
These stores, which are currently being remodeled, will be redesigned to make the shopping experience easier for customers and will be among the first to display Food Lion’s new logo.
Food Lion launched the new logo Wednesday across the grocer’s 10-state footprint in television advertising, the company’s weekly ad flyer and website. The logo has a more modern look while preserving the history and heritage of the lion and the “Food Lion blue,” Phillips-Brown said.
“With our new logo, we have an opportunity to show our customers that we’re fresh, while remaining true to our legacy of low prices,” Newlands Campbell said. “Beginning later this year, we’ll also bring our customers items in our stores that are consistent with the logo on the front, as we deliver new Food Lion store brand products that will help our customers save.”
Food Lion, which serves more than 9 million customers each week, was founded as Food Town in 1957 and still calls Salisbury its hometown.
Food Lion is a owned by Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.