This week, Food Lion will take the wraps off remodels at 105 stores in the greater Norfolk, Va., area.
The Ahold Delhaize USA supermarket chain said it plans to hold grand reopening events at all of the stores on Wednesday, Aug. 29. Each location is scheduled to open to the public at 8 a.m. after a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the first 100 customers in line will get a free tote bag plus a “mystery” gift card valued at $10 to $200.
In early May, Food Lion announced a $168 million capital investment plan to upgrade the shopping experience at the Norfolk-area stores. Besides the remodels, the program entailed the hiring of 4,000 additional staff and community outreach, which included a nearly $200,000 donation to local food banks for the purchase of two mobile food pantry trucks.
“Food Lion has nourished the greater Norfolk community for nearly 40 years, and we're excited to bring these improvements to our 105 local stores," Food Lion President Meg Ham said in a statement. "We've created a new grocery shopping experience through the significant investments in our stores, customers, associates and communities.”
On the convenience side, changes include new signage and groupings of like products, which Food Lion said will enable customers to find items faster. A more efficient checkout process also is designed to make it easier for shoppers to get in and out of the store.
The stores also will feature expanded variety and assortment across all departments, such as more local produce in the “Local Goodness” section; an expanded variety of craft beer; limited-reserve wines; and more natural, organic and gluten-free items. The larger perishables offering includes a wider selection of Nature's Place beef, salads, fruit and other items.
For families, the remodeled stores will serve up a broader array of easy and affordable meals, such as hand-battered chicken, along with a greater variety of grab-and-go items and presliced deli meats and cheeses, which are sliced fresh daily and available for customers to pick up without waiting in line, Food Lion said.
Twelve of the stores will house walk-in garden coolers for keeping produce fresher longer, and six stores have expanded deli departments, which offer such items as handmade artisan pizza and premium coffee.
More than 40 of the Norfolk-area stores also contain a wing bar assortment for customers seeking hot, quick meal solutions, Food Lion added.
“From our expanded variety and product assortment, newly reorganized stores and new signage to a more efficient checkout experience, every change we’ve made will make it easier for our customers to find fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day,” according to Ham. “And true to our heritage, we always offer everyday low prices along with weekly sales and promotions.”
Food Lion said that with the completion of the Norfolk market upgrades, 649 of its 1,030 stores have been remodeled over the last four years. The Salisbury, N.C.-based chain, whose stores are in 10 Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states, added that it plans to remodel additional stores in other markets going forward.