Food Lion LLC was created in 1983, when Delhaize America, a division of Delhaize Group, renamed Food Town Stores Inc. – the southeastern grocery chain it had purchased in 1976. Food Lion, based in North Carolina, became Delhaize America’s largest associate, employing 73,000 people at 1,300 stores throughout the United State in 2009.
With the goal of providing private-label and brand-name products at a discount, Food Lion at one time proffered the slogan: “Lowest Food Prices in North Carolina,” which was adapted for use in South Carolina and Virginia. With sales of $17.3 billion in 2006, primarily attributable to Food Lion LLC, Delhaize America was recognized as number 10 in the Top 75 North American Food Retailers.
Food Lion did, however, see a decline in market share and expansion throughout the 1990s after it sold its Bangkok, Thailand, stores to a different supermarket chain and pulled out of a number of American cities, including Houston and Dallas. It also cancelled leases and closed hundreds of stores in Oklahoma and Louisiana after a damaging report about unsanitary practices on ABC’s Primetime Live tarnished the company’s reputation. A lawsuit followed and the company was eventually able to regain its footing in other areas.
To that end, the company began a market renewal effort in 2003, updating select stores and improving product offerings. It rebranded Food Lion stores, changing the color scheme from red and white to brown.
Each of Food Lion’s banners offers a different shopping experience and appeals to a specific demographic. Bottom Dollar Food, for example, operates deep discount stores that appeal to bargain hunters, while Bloom is an alternative, upscale banner. Reid’s stores are mostly smaller and older locations that cannot be physically expanded or whose market will not bear a larger store.
Headquarters: Salisbury, North Carolina
Subsidiary: Food Lion LLC, Delhaize America, Delhaize Group
Number of Stores: 1,300
Annual Revenue: $17.3 billion (2006)
Number of Employees: 73,000
Geography: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Harvey’s Supermarket, Reid’s, Hannaford