SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion here is following a six-initiative plan to improve execution and sales in the face of a continued challenging economy, said Rick Anicetti, president and chief executive officer.
Food Lion's six initiatives are as follows:
Executional Excellence: "We've been running stores better, and creating a more consistent shopping experience," Anicetti said. "That's been under way for the past 18 months, and is creating traction."
Continuous Improvement: A major goal is to extract additional costs from the Food Lion business, Anicetti said. "Unlike in the past, Food Lion now understands costs better from a process and holistic standpoint. This includes supply chain, average cost inventory system, synergies, indirect procurement, areas of redundancy, health insurance and energy savings. With all of these areas, we are targeting for 2003 combined savings of $100 million, and we're well on our way to achieving it."
Leveraging Our Low-Price Perception: The retailer is leveraging this perception both promotionally and on an everyday-shelf basis, he said. "Eighteen months ago, we implemented zone pricing. So, the focus is on being the low-price supermarket of choice."
Associate Development: Anicetti said Food Lion "is intensely focused on associate development, with hourly training and leadership training to make sure associates have needed skills."
Focus on Fresh: Historically, Food Lion was not an organization where consumers came for fresh foods, Anicetti conceded. But such a strategy can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, he added. "So, we now have an intense focus on fresh and quality assurance. We are revisiting the fresh-product specifications to ensure quality, and looking at the chill-chain management process."
Building Our Future: "As of Oct. 1, we opened the first market renewal effort with 68 remodels in Raleigh, [N.C.,] bringing to bear all of our strategies in an intense way, including merchandising, price and associate development," Anicetti said.
FOOD LION FACTS
Headquarters: Salisbury, N.C.
Number of stores: 1,200
Top executive: Rick Anicetti, president and chief executive officer
Founding year: 1957 (as Food Town)
Acquisition by Delhaize Group: Minority stake taken in 1974, majority stake in 1976
Operating area: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania