Food Lion has completed a store remodeling initiative spanning 87 stores in six Southern states, for a total investment of $127 million.
Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion, part of Ahold Delhaize USA, said Wednesday that the upgrades included 27 stores in Tennessee, 23 in Georgia, 20 in South Carolina, 11 in North Carolina, and three apiece in Kentucky and Virginia.
Headlining the store remodels were expanded variety and assortment across all departments, tailored to the customer base in each community, according to Food Lion. That includes more locally sourced products as well as additional natural, gluten-free and organic items, led by an augmented own-brand selection of Nature’s Promise beef, pork, poultry, dairy, breakfast and children’s foods, among other items.
Food Lion said the enhanced stores also now serve up more local craft beers and limited reserve wines; a bigger selection of family meals and grab-and-go items; more pre-sliced deli meats and cheeses, available for pickup without having to wait in line; and an expansive assortment of fresh produce and meat, backed by a double-your-money-back guarantee.
“We’re excited to welcome our neighbors in these towns and cities into their fresh, new Food Lion,” President Meg Ham said in a statement. “Our associates can’t wait to show customers their newly remodeled store and have them experience the expanded variety and assortment of new products and services. All these changes were made with our neighbors in mind so they can nourish their families affordably and make life a little easier.”
Customers, too, will find updated signage and groupings of like products, making it easier to navigate the aisles and locate items faster, along with a more efficient checkout process, Food Lion said. And by the year’s end, 23 of the remodeled stores will offer the Food Lion To Go online grocery pickup service. Home delivery is available in selected areas as well. Pickup and delivery orders are placed at shop.foodlion.com, powered by Instacart.
Food Lion added that all of the 87 upgraded stores now recycle organic waste products and have deployed new recycling containers, with associates receiving extra training on sustainability to help reduce waste being sent to area landfills. And by using energy-efficient equipment, technologies and procedures, 73 of the stores have received the Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. The designations recognize a commitment to boosting energy efficiency and cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.
In reporting fiscal 2021 second-quarter results, Ahold Delhaize CEO Frans Muller noted Food Lion’s strong performance.
“From a brand perspective, I’d like to call out Food Lion, which achieved its 35th consecutive quarter of positive comparable-sales growth,” Muller told analysts in an Aug. 11 conference call. “In addition, the 71 [acquired] stores that have been integrated year-to-date are exceeding sales expectations.”
Overall, Food Lion operates more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, including Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.