- Food Lion will invest $40 million to remodel 23 stores in 14 towns and cities in the Charlottesville and Harrisonburg, Virginia area, according to a company release. The upgraded stores will feature easier navigation for shoppers, the company said, along with an expanded product assortment. All the stores will remain open during the remodeling process which should be complete late this summer.
- The remodeled stores will have an expanded variety of local, natural, organic and gluten-free items. They will also feature an additional selection of Nature’s Promise beef, pork and poultry. Customers will also see an expanded inventory of international items, seafood, grab-and-go snacks and premium coffees.
- Once this set of stores are renovated, Food Lion will have remodeled 80% of its more than 1,000 stores in ten states. Recently, the chain announced a $158 million investment to remodel 92 stores in South Carolina and $168 million to remodel 105 stores in the greater Norfolk, Virginia market.
North Carolina-based Food Lion is in the midst of a makeover, and these Virginia remodels are just the latest in a multi-million-dollar investment in store upgrades. The updates are part of the retailer’s “Easy, Fresh and Affordable” initiative that aims to align stores with consumer trends like additional organics and fresh food options but also improve shoppers' in-store experiences. Food Lion is placing renewed emphasis on customer service, affordable pricing and modern store design.
Many grocery chains are undergoing a refresh to their facilities to lure customers as competition continues to intensify. Southeastern Grocers has accelerated its pace for store remodels across all four of its banners including Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harvey's and Fresco Y Mas. Walmart is also pushing store remodels rather than opening new ones. Just yesterday, the retailer announced plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to remodel stores across the U.S
Ahold Delhaize, which owns Food Lion, operates several brands that have a new look. Pennsylvania-based Giant/Martin’s unveiled a smaller store format called Heirloom Market in Philadelphia in an attempt to reach the urban market. Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop is slowly rolling out store refreshes at its more than 400 locations in New England, New York and New Jersey. Additionally, the brand has updated its logo and created a modern store design while adding more options for grab-and-go, organic and local foods.
Customer experience is leading the latest trends for retail, including grocery stores. The chain-wide overhaul, with its enhancements to service and emphasis on a fresh and local inventory, will help create a feeling of community in a region that Food Lion has served since 1982. The new designs should draw people in, while the pricing, products and helpful staff will keep them coming back.