Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Dilworth Bloom opens March 17

The first central Charlotte Bloom store is set to open at 8 a.m. on March 17, after nearly a year of renovations to overhaul the former Bi-Lo at 2226 Park Road in Dilworth. Customers can also visit during a "Shop Happy Hour" preview, 5-7 p.m. on March 16, with product sampling, wine and cheese. The store will also be giving away free hot dogs from Wednesday through Saturday, with a charitable donation suggested. Regular hours are 6 a.m. to midnight.

The 44,500-square-foot store opened as a Kroger in 1982 and converted to Bi-Lo in the late 1980s. By the time it closed last April, it hadn’t been renovated in years and had begun to look timeworn. Since then, however, the space has been gutted and remodeled, and the parking lot resurfaced, with new landscaping.

Bloom is Salisbury-based Food Lion’s upscale, tech-savvy concept, and the Dilworth store will be the ninth area location, employing about 90 people. The store will have a drive-through pharmacy, full floral shop, dedicated gluten-free section, expanded assortment of wine, beer and specialty cheese, a soup and salad bar and more than 3,000 organic and natural items, spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said. It also will sell fresh-cut meats and seafood, and Dietz & Watson deli products and fresh-made sandwiches.

Beyond that, the Bloom will provide new grocery competition for Harris Teeter, which has essentially had the Dilworth-Freedom Park area to itself since Bi-Lo closed, with stores on East Boulevard and at Park Road Shopping Center. It'll be interesting to see what pans out, and if residents give it a try.

Meanwhile, Bi-Lo continues to shrink its local presence: The chain, based outside of Greenville, S.C., ranks fourth in market share by sales in Charlotte and is in the process of closing two stores here. One, on Little Rock Road, shut last month, and another, on Independence Boulevard in Indian Trail, is slated to close Saturday. The company remains in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but in a press release said the store closures - which affect seven locations chainwide - are unrelated to that and but are rather part of its regular review of store profitability. Some of the stores are nearing the end of their current lease agreements and the company decided not to renew them, which was also my understanding of what happened with the Dilworth space.

Note: Though Bloom is owned by Food Lion, you can't use Food Lion's MVP loyalty card there - instead, shoppers must sign up for Bloom's Breeze card to obtain discounts, Phillips-Brown said.

Update, March 15: Below are photos of the store from a preview tour this afternoon, as workers busied themselves stocking shelves and setting up. For anyone familiar with the old Bi-Lo, it's quite a change, and the layout far different, with produce on the right-hand side of the store and non-food and pharmacy items on the left. The store is decorated in muted hues and has wooden floors in several areas, such as produce, below.

Below: The store will have four 37-inch flat-screen, touch-screen monitors that provide information about the store and the products it sells. Customers can scan packages of meat to bring up a list of recipes that include that item, and can print out recipes at the kiosk.

The store includes an expanded wine and cheese section.

There's also a dedicated gluten-free section.

And a drive-through pharmacy:

13 comments:

Mia said...

I'm looking forward to something else other than Harris Teeter. I have been going to Target instead as of late to avoid their prices. I have never been to a Bloom, though I'm hoping they are more cost effective. Also, I'm tired of carrying these stupid loyalty cards. Sure they provide deals, but you have to carry one for each store and they track everything purchase - kind of creepy really. Keeping an open mind though so we will see what Bloom has to offer.

Anonymous said...

I am with you Mia - Harris Teeter is expensive - I shop Costco, Target and Trader Joes for most of our groceries. Harris Teeter only if I cannot find what I want at the others! Looking forward to Bloom's opening! All we need to see next is Whole Foods - they could even give Harris Teeter a run for it in the right location!

Ron said...

LOVE me some Bloom!!!! The prices are awesome, and the store is very Unique. They even have touch screens on there buggies!!! And you can Scan & Bag your groceries while you shop even!!! Your going to love it once it opens!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited! Harris Teeter is EXPENSIVE! I always end up shopping at Food Lion on my way home from work. And I love that they will be open until midnight!

Allyson or Ally said...

Bloom is OVERPRICED big time. Go to Super Target - even cheaper than Wally World!

Anonymous said...

In my experience, Bloom is just as much if not more expensive than Harris Teeter. Mia, Bloom does have a loyalty card program. Stores just need to lower their prices before collecting our personal information.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Mia and Anon (9:31) Bloom's isn't any cheaper than HT. At least the one I went into was. Beautiful store though.

Rachel said...

Bloom is MORE EXPENSIVE than Harris Teeter. I just looked at their weekly flier on their Web site... holy smokes, that was a SALE flier?!! And they do NOT double coupons except for events. I'd rather do w/o the pretty little things like screens on the carts for more competitive prices.

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Where's Whole Foods when you need them?

Anonymous said...

Is driving out of your way to a SuperTarget really worth it if you are spending more on gas to get there?

In Dilworth you're only options are Harris Teeter, this Bloom, Trader Joe's and Health Home Market (formerly Home Economist). I really miss Hannaford.

Anonymous said...

Is Bloom really more expensive than Teeter? I like the healthy home market a lot... but sometimes I need to go somewhere to get non-specialty items, and I was hoping this would be the place!

Anonymous said...

Find a receipt of the grocery store "SuperTarget" when you used the "SuperTarget" loyalty card to make the purchase

Fran said...

I really enjoy shopping at the Bloom grocery store on Park Road in Charlotte. The staff is always friendly and helpful.
I was suprised however, to learn that this is a "subsidiary" of Food Lion. If I was to compare the Food Lion on E. Market Street in Greensboro, NC to this Bloom, I would think they were on opposite ends of the comparison scale.
Hmmm, location location location