Food Lion to close 100+ grocery stores

Posted at 10:00 AM, Jan 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-12 17:35:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The company that owns the Food Lion grocery store chain announced Thursday morning it would close 113 underperforming stores in the United States.

Two Henrico County Food Lion locations are on the company’s list of stores to close. They are the Food Lion located at 8910 Quioccasin Road and the one located at 10470 Ridgefield Parkway.

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Five other Virginia Food Lion stores will also close, most in areas southwest of Richmond. They include Food Lion stores in Appomattox, Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke and Bristol.

The head of the Belgium-based Delhaize Group said the closing of the stores is in line with the company’s long term strategy.

“After a thorough review of our store portfolio, we have decided to close or convert a number of stores in the U.S. and in Southeastern Europe during the first quarter of 2012,” Pierre-Olivier Beckers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group, wrote in a statement. “This decision is in line with our New Game Plan which is aimed at accelerating profitable growth. For a retailer, it is never an easy decision to close stores as we are fully aware of the impact on our associates, our customers and the communities we serve.”

More people shop at Food Lion grocery stores than any other grocery chain in Central Virginia, according to a 2011 study by Food Lion, a trade magazine that covers the grocery industry. The study found Food Lion held 35% of Richmond’s grocery market. Giant/Martin’s was second with 29%.

The Food World study found there are more Food Lion stores, 51, in metro-Richmond than any other supermarket. [CLICK HERE: Read more about the Food World study]

Beckers said the decision to close the stores came down to money.

“While we grew our revenues for the full year, we are disappointed in the fourth quarter revenues in the U.S. and Belgium,” Beckers said in a statement. “Consumers continued to feel pressured in the fourth quarter due to the macro-economic environment and this led to a reduction in spending. We also encountered an increase in competitive activity. We are determined to further improve our price competitiveness in 2012, particularly in the U.S. and Belgium.”

The Delhaize Group also announced the closing of six Bloom grocery stores in Northern Virginia and five Bottom Dollar Food grocery stores in Hampton Roads. [CLICK HERE: See the entire list of stores slated to close]