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Food Lion plans more store upgrades in Virginia

Nearly two dozen locations slated for remodels

Food Lion’s multiyear store remodel program is now headed to the Charlottesville-Harrisonburg, Va., market.

The Ahold Delhaize USA supermarket chain said Tuesday it plans to invest $40 million to upgrade 23 stores in 14 towns and cities throughout the area, which straddles Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Remodeled stores will carry a wider variety of products relevant to customers in each location and the community, such as more local, natural, organic and gluten-free items, according to Food Lion. These stores also will have an easier-to-navigate layout and feature enhanced deli/bakery departments, price reductions and expanded product assortments. About 400 new store associates will be hired to help improve customer service and the shopping experience, the retailer said.

Each of the 23 stores will remain in operation during the remodels, which are expected to be completed by late summer, Food Lion said.

"Food Lion is proud to have been a part of the many towns and cities we serve throughout the Charlottesville/Harrisonburg market for 37 years, and we are even more excited to bring new offerings, services and a new look to these markets," President Meg Ham said in a statement. "We look forward to making significant investments in our stores, our associates and our communities to offer an enhanced shopping experience.”

All remodeled stores will offer an expanded variety of beef, pork and poultry under Ahold Delhaize USA’s Nature’s Promise organic/natural brand, which is free of artificial additives, preservatives and colors. The updated locations also will feature hand-battered fried chicken made in-store; more local products like craft beer and wine, plus additional natural and organic varieties; and expanded offerings of international specialty products, grab-and-go snacks, and premium and ready-to-drink coffee.

Select stores also will offer fruit cut in store as well as a bigger seafood selection, Food Lion said. In addition, two stores — in Ruckersville and Charlottesville — will house walk-in produce coolers designed to keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer time periods.

Besides Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Ruckersville, Virginia stores being remodeled under Food Lion’s “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” strategy are located in Verona, Stuarts Draft, Staunton, Elkton, Waynesboro, Palmyra, Timberville, Grottoes, Madison, Fisherville and Scottsville.

When the store renovations are finished, Food Lion will have upgraded 80% of its approximately 1,030 stores across its 10-state operating area in the Southeast over the past four years.

In early March, Food Lion unveiled a $158 million project to remodel 92 supermarkets in the greater Myrtle Beach, Florence, Columbia and Charleston, S.C., areas. The upgraded stores also are slated to debut this summer.

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