As we are all well aware, Food Lion is an excellent grocery store with wonderful customer service and great prices. I’m always able to find exactly what I need in a timely manner and can trust that I am getting a fair deal as well. Food Lion is always looking to improve so they’ve created a feedback survey you can take which is located at www.TalkToFoodLion.com
About Food Lion
Headquarted in Salisbury, NC, Food Lion is a chain of American grocery stores primarily offering consumables such as produce, meat, dairy products, and prepackaged goods. Food Lion is owned by the Delhaize Group, an internationally based food retailer headquartered in Belgium. The Delhaize Group was founded in 1867 and offers services to seven countries. Food Lion LLC operates over 1100 supermarkets under Delhaize. In the United States, Food Lion has approximately 73,000 associates working within its stores.
Founded in 1957 in North Carolina by Ralph Ketner, Brown Ketner, and Wilson Smith, Food Lion was called Food Town. After being acquired by Delhaize, the name was changed in 1983. The company’s decision left the American consumers perplexed, however the name caught on.
The concept of Food Lion was primarily based on creating a grocer that offered convenience and friendly service to the community, as well as “extra low prices” on all merchandise, whether name brand or Food Lion’s private label. Food Lion offers a loyalty card, called the MVP Loyalty Card. This card is part of the enterprise’s pricing strategy, allowing shoppers to take advantage of savings on selected products at a rate of 5% to 15% less than other grocers. To keep up with the competition, Food Lion has added a deli and bakery, a meat department, fresh seafood, cheese, and a pharmacy, even renovating most stores in 2007. Since December 2009, Food Lion is up to 1169 stores in eleven states. Those states consist of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North & South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
It was in the 1980s that Food Lion expanded in the U.S., and managed to succeed when stores such as A&P or Piggly Wiggly failed. Food Lion swept over the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. Expansions allowed the company to operate in the Carolinas, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Food Lion continued further expansion in the 1990′s to the point the average number of stores opening annually was 100 or more.
This strategic and rapid expansion is due to a method the parent company uses called “market renewals.” This method is also used to choose which stores are to undergo remodeling as well as product updating. The market renewal program updated their research to include data of demographic and geographic proportions, which aids in the decision to brand an existing store under the name Food Lion or another store operated by Delhaize.
However, it has not always been a happy story for Food Lion. In November of 1992, two reporters became Food Lion employees during an ABC News investigation after ABC was informed of the unsanitary handling of meat and seafood. Using hidden cameras, the reporters recorded and witnessed Food Lion employees bleaching discolored pork products that were already expired, and changing the expiration dates on repackaged expired meats. This footage was shown on a prime time live report. Sales and revenue plummeted during the holidays, and expansion plans were delayed. The company paid $16.2 million to settle a host of claims in 1993. In January of 1994, the Delhaize Group broadcasted the first store closings, which became an annual event. Food Lion later sued ABC for fraud, and were awarded $5.5 million dollars by a jury in 1997. Despite the verdict that ABC was not granted permission to record footage of the company’s food handling practices, Food Lion’s actions caused its own demise. The public broadcasting of their unsanitary practices did not. Over time, however, the company was able to build upon the experience and maintain and win over customer loyalty.