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Delhaize Unveils Corporate Restructure, Store Closures

Delhaize America, which a month ago talked about a “new game plan” for 2010, is also creating new teams to play.

SALISBURY, N.C. — Delhaize America, which a month ago talked about a “new game plan” for 2010, is also creating new teams to play.

The company Thursday announced a new corporate structure which will merge support functions for all of its U.S. banners. Rick Anicetti, currently CEO of Delhaize’s Food Lion banner, will become CEO of Delhaize Shared Services effective Feb. 1 and will oversee corporate development, legal and government relations, information technology, finance, communications, organizational change management and human resources for all of the retailer’s U.S. stores.

Ron Hodge, currently CEO of Hannaford, will serve as CEO of Delhaize America Operations and will oversee all Delhaize banners and four banner presidents: Cathy Green (Food Lion including Bloom, Reid’s and Harvey’s); Meg Ham (Bottom Dollar); Beth Newlands Campbell (Hannaford Bros.) and Mike Vail (Sweetbay). Hodge will also oversee the strategy and research, and supply chain and procurement shared services, the company said.

Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Food Lion, told SN the company is currently in the process of determining the optimal structure for the new organization, which she said would maintain its current offices in Salisbury, Scarborough, Maine and Tampa. She said it was too early to determine how many positions might be eliminated, although officials last month said they planned to reduce costs by $450 million over the next three years.

Delhaize today also announced that it would close 15 Food Lion stores and one Bloom location that it described as “underperforming.” The company reiterated plans to open 120 to 130 new stores during the 2010 fiscal year.

Total revenues during the fourth quarter grew by 1.5% at identical exchange rates, with comparable-store sales in the U.S. down by 2.8% and increasing by 2.6% in Europe. The company said the comp decline was due mainly to deflation, as U.S. stores reported stronger volume.

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