Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Food Lion finishes converting Greenville, S.C., Blooms

Six former Bloom stores in the Greenville, S.C. market are set to reopen Wednesday as Food Lions, and the final conversion of Blooms to Food Lions in Charlotte will soon follow.

Delhaize, the parent corporation for both grocery chains, first announced it was making the change-over in March. Bloom had been under-performing in the Carolinas, the company said, and while Blooms here would be changed to Food Lions, Blooms in suburban Washington, D.C., and southeast Virginia would remain the same.

The plans for Greenville could presage what's soon to follow in Charlotte as Food Lion tries to lure Bloom shoppers. Blooms-turned-Food Lions in the Greenville area will debut with 8 a.m. ribbon cuttings Wednesday. They'll have specials, grocery gift card giveaways worth up to $250, and in-store shopping sprees.

The stores will also feature some product assortments meant to appeal to Bloom fans.

"As part of the transition to Food Lion, we've listened to former Bloom guests to maintain as many of the key products as possible," said James Egan, senior VP of Food Lion, in a statement. "Food Lion stores will feature popular natural and organic products, along with fresh seafood, produce and other specialty items. In addition, Bloom guests will enjoy the same friendly and dependable associates, as most of the Bloom associates have joined our Food Lion family so they may continue to serve their loyal customers."

There will be 49 Blooms, a sort of upscale complement to Food Lion, after the transition of Greenville and Charlotte is complete. That's a small number compared to the 1,300 or so Food Lions. Both companies are run out of Salisbury.

A company spokeswoman couldn't yet say exactly when the Charlotte Blooms will reopen as Food Lions.

The Bloom banner isn't stagnating in Virginia and Maryland, where the stores are mostly clustered around Washington, D.C. In fact, it seems to be growing more distinct from Food Lion. In May, the chain announced it was adding more organic foods and a gluten-free center to those stores.


Bob @ Lake Keowee said...

I WAS a loyal Clemson SC Bloom client. Bloom offered quality services, especially a butcher with quality meats that Bi-Lo and Ingles did not compete with. It seemed to do a brisk business. Butcher and meat department are now changed over / gone, so in my view the former Bloom / new Food Lion is no better than Bi-Lo or Ingles with higher prices. Lost my business. Talking to my neighbors on Lake Keowee, they share the same viewpoint. My prognosis - The "new" Food Lion / former Bloom will soon go away just like the former Food Lion in nearby Central which could not compete with the nearby Bi-Lo. I will miss Bloom - it was a nice store. Someone in corporate Bloom blew it on this decision.

Anonymous said...

"Food Lion stores will feature popular natural and organic products, along with fresh seafood, produce and other specialty items.

what a ludicrous presumption. there are now 2 food lion stores 3 blocks apart from each other. the clientele have no interest in 'natural and organic products', or 'fresh seafood and specialty items'.

have you seen the class of people that shop there?!

Anonymous said...

Worst. Move. Ever. Food Lion... you really know how to shoot yourselves in the foot! The Dilworth Bloom will now turn into a crappy Food Lion :(

Anonymous said...

"have you seen the class of people that shop there?!"

I bet they know when to capitalize in sentences though.

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait til Publix gets to town!

Anonymous said...

Such a bad idea. I recently went to a Bloom in Fort Mill and noticed that the store was looking like it was run down just like every Food Lion i ever have been into. It wasn't that way before. They should have gotten rid of the Food Lion brand everywhere except the rural stores. I guess they just can't overcome corporate arrogance and loyalty to a dead brand.