“We are so excited to add these new locations to our more than 630 stores across Georgia and the Carolinas,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham. “We’ve been serving customers in these larger regions for almost 60 years. We’re thrilled to add these locations and serve even more towns and cities across these three states with fresh, quality products at affordable prices every day with the caring, friendly service customers expect from their local Food Lion.”
A June 3 press release from SEG stated that the company has made the strategic decision to no longer operate stores under the BI-LO banner to allow for greater investment in growing the Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie banners. To further that goal, SEG has reached an agreement to sell 62 stores, including 46 BI-LO and 16 Harveys Supermarkets, to Food Lion, and is actively exploring strategic options for the remaining BI-LO stores, including other potential transactions.”
Separately, SEG is also divesting the assets of 57 of the in-store pharmacies it operates under the BI-LO and Harveys Supermarket banners to CVS and Walgreens. These locations, which include all of the company’s BI-LO pharmacies and nine Harveys Supermarket pharmacies in Georgia, will begin to transition within the next two weeks. During this process, SEG will seek to minimize any interruption to customers and to ensure the smooth transition of their prescriptions.
Anthony Hucker, president and CEO of SEG, said, “The successful execution of our long-term transformation strategy may at times require difficult decisions. Today’s transactions are a critical strategic move and an important next step for our continued growth and broader evolution as a business. These actions will facilitate greater investment in our remaining footprint so we can continue to provide an exceptional shopping experience our customers can always count on.”
Plans for new stores
Food Lion plans to hire more than 4,650 associates to serve customers at the 62 new stores.
The stores will remain open as BI-LO and Harveys Supermarket until the transaction is complete, which is expected to take place over a staggered period from January to April 2021, pending regulatory approval and customary closing requirements. Food Lion plans to operate all the stores under the Food Lion banner.
Food Lion offers customers its MVP loyalty program, an award-winning Shop & Earn personalized monthly rewards program and with weekly promotions. It also has a mobile app that provides access to digital coupons, mobile shopping lists and more.
Food Lion also has a longstanding history of caring for its neighbors in need. As the first grocery retailer in the country to establish a partnership with Feeding America to develop a retail food rescue program more than 20 years ago, all stores in the Food Lion network are paired with a local feeding agency to receive donations through Food Lion’s retail food rescue program and support through its hunger-relief platform, Food Lion Feeds. Through its network of 30 Feeding America food bank partners across its 10-state footprint, Food Lion ensures food that is unable to be sold in its stores but is perfectly safe to eat, is donated to serve those in need.
“Caring for families and communities is at the heart of our brand. We believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent and gas and groceries,” Ham said. “That’s why Food Lion recently announced a goal of providing 1 billion more meals through our hunger-relief platform, Food Lion Feeds, to feed our neighbors in need. As part of that commitment to the most vulnerable in our communities, these new stores will also be paired with local food bank partners. Caring is who we are and what we do at Food Lion.”
Food Lion will be served by ADUSA Distribution LLC, through the Mauldin, South Carolina, distribution center once the transaction is complete. The distribution center will support the newly acquired 62 stores and Food Lion’s network of stores. The handover is anticipated to be complete in the first half of 2021.
Food Lion, based in Salisbury, North Carolina, since 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs 77,000 associates. Food Lion is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Ahold Delhaize.