Delhaize America is closing 126 supermarkets and retiring its Bloom brand. The company said it will focus on strengthening its Food Lion and Bottom Dollar Food brands.
The company said it will:
- Close 113 underperforming Food Lion stores, primarily in markets in which the company has the least store density;
- Retire the Bloom banner;
- Convert 64 Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia to Food Lion stores;
- Close seven underperforming Bloom stores and six underperforming Bottom Dollar Food stores in overlapping Food Lion markets;
- Convert one Food Lion store in Florida to a Harveys store;
- Discontinue operations of its distribution center located in Clinton, Tenn., and
- Accelerate the roll out of the Food Lion brand strategy in an additional 600 to 700 stores.
"Today's actions will continue to solidify our U.S. operations and enable our company to focus on our successful brand strategy repositioning at Food Lion and the expansion of Bottom Dollar Food in new markets," said Ron Hodge, CEO of Delhaize America. "While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, we believe these actions will enable us to better serve our customers in our markets with high density, while positioning the company for future growth."
All affected stores will close within 30 days, and store conversions will begin immediately.
About 4,900 people will lose their jobs.
The company will convert the Food Lion store in Lake City, Fla., to a Harveys store. As a result of these actions, Delhaize America will no longer operate the Food Lion banner in Florida, but will continue operations of its Sweetbay and Harveys banners in the state.
The company said it is increasing its density of Food Lion stores in other states by converting Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores to Food Lion, specifically in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. After these actions are complete, Food Lion will operate in 10 states and have 1,127 stores.
Bottom Dollar Food
Delhaize is converting 22 Bottom Dollar Food stores in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia to Food Lion stores, and closing six underperforming stores in North Carolina and Virginia,
Bottom Dollar Food will open 14 stores in Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio, by the end of the first quarter, and expects to open another 10 to 15 stores by year-end in its new markets. In addition, the company plans to continue aggressive growth of the banner by adding several hundred Bottom Dollar Food stores in the next five years.