On Wednesday, Oct. 12, Food Lion unveiled a new, easier shopping experience for customers in 142 stores in the greater Charlotte, N.C., market. The grocer also made a landmark $215 million capital investment this year, the second largest in the grocer's history. The investment includes remodeling the stores, lowering prices, hiring hundreds of additional associates and giving back to local communities.
“Food Lion has been a proud neighbor in the Charlotte community for 60 years," said Meg Ham, president of Food Lion. "As we near our 60th anniversary, we spent the year making significant investments in our stores, customers, associates and communities to create a new grocery shopping experience. Now, customers can easily find fresh, quality products at affordable prices, delivered with caring, friendly service every time they shop. We invite everyone to come out and experience the fresh, new changes we've made and let us know what they think.”
As part of the celebration festivities on Oct. 12, the company gave away $10 gift cards and thermal tote bags to the first 100 customers at each of the 142 locations, following the 7:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Below are recaps from 10 of these celebrations, each attended by Food Lion leadership, local dignitaries, community partners and customers.
Store 97 - Hickory, N.C.
Hickory, N.C., Food Lion Celebrates Its Grand Re-Opening and Donates 11,000 Meals to Local Soup Kitchen
It is a great day to be at Food Lion in Hickory, N.C.!
Since January 2016, Store 97 planned, prepared and worked to bring a refreshing, new experience to its customers.
From an expanded assortment of gluten-free and organic products to new registers for faster checkout, no detail was overlooked by the 53 store associates and managers of Store 97.
On Oct. 12, the store celebrated its 22 weeks of hard work with a grand re-opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.
"Today is a result of so many people's efforts in service of Ms. Johnson," said Chris Spears, Food Lion store manager. "I could not be more proud of Food Lion and my team here."
Not only did the store celebrate all the new changes in the store, they also recognized the Hickory Soup Kitchen for all the changes they make in the Hickory community every day by providing an 11,000 meal donation.
"Just like we take care of customers in our store, we want to take care of our community," Spears added. "We aren't just in the community, we are a part of the community, and there is no better way to be a neighbor than by supporting great organizations like the Hickory Soup Kitchen."
In addition to today's donation, Store 97 donates food to the Hickory Soup Kitchen three times each week, which provides nearly 1,000 pounds of food each month.
After recognizing its incredible community partners and associates, a Food Lion grand re-opening would not be complete without a special surprise for customers.
When the store opened its doors, the first 100 customers received a $10 gift card and a thermal Food Lion reusable bag to help make shopping easier.
Store 97 was one of 142 Charlotte-area stores to undergo renovations and can't wait to show its community all the "easy, fresh and affordable" changes in its store!
Store 2223 - Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte, N.C., Celebrates Fresh New Food Lion with Local Customers a Lot of Energy
Wayne and Nancy Eddins regularly shop at Store 2203 on Park in Charlotte because of convenience. But on Wednesday, that convenience was enhanced by the newly remodeled Park Road Food Lion store.
"We just think this renovation is great," Nancy Eddins said while shopping in one of the aisles with her husband.
He commented positively on the store resets. "It is so much easier to get through. We love it!"
Store Manager Jeff Stafford began the morning with a brief store huddle with 21 associates inside the store at the checkout area.
"I want to thank you for all your hard work and today's celebration is more about your hard work and the service you provide to our customers," Stafford said.
Associates used noise makers, Food Lion fans and shouts to show their support and excitement for today's re-launch of the store and others across the greater Charlotte Market.
Charlotte East Director of Operations Pat Calhoun, Vice President for Center Store Management Gene Faller and various other Food Lion Retail and corporate officials were in attendance providing support for Wednesday's event.
The morning progressed with a short ribbon cutting ceremony led by Stafford.
"Our customers told us they want ease and convenience so we have added thousands of new items so they can find what they need every time," Stafford said.
He presented two separate $500 checks to representatives from community groups, Harvest Church and The Readies, so they could use the money to help feed Charlotte's hungry families.
"We know our communities count on us too, and we're committed to eliminating hunger in the communities we serve through Food Lion Feeds," Stafford said.
He ended the event by leading the ribbon cutting ceremony and taking part in a selfie with the crowd before allowing them shop throughout the store. Customers were both surprised and excited to receive a $10 Food Lion gift card as they entered the store along with a blue, thermal Food Lion bag.
Store 1552 - Concord, N.C.
Concord, N.C., Celebrates the Re-launch of Its Fresh, New Food Lion Stores
It was a crisp, fall morning as Store Manager Debbie Snyder officially reopened her newly remodeled store to customers. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by local dignitaries, community partners, customers and associates, was a great way to celebrate the 142 market-wide store renovations, our local community and the associates who made it happen.
"I am so proud and grateful to each of you for your hard work and dedication in getting us to this day," said Snyder to the associates gathered at the event. "I am also excited for our customers to see how we refreshed the entire shopping experience. The new store offers thousands of new items, so customers can find what they need every time. We’ve made checkouts faster, and added lots of grab and go items too, so you can get in and out quicker, and home to your families and the things that matter most.
On hand for the event were State Representative Larry Pittman, Mayor Scott Padgett, Mayor Pro-Tem Alfred M. Brown, Jr., and Council Member Brian King. Representative Pittman recalled how when he was in Seminary school at Wake Forest, he and his wife "would drive all the way to Raleigh to do their grocery shopping because of the great prices and quality." Pittman went on to say, "Food Lion has come a long way since then and we appreciate what you mean to the community."
We know our communities count on us too, and we’re committed to eliminating hunger in the communities we serve through Food Lion Feeds. Therefore, Store 1552 also made a donation of $1,000, the equivalent of 11,000 meals, to Cooperative Christian Ministry, the local feeding agency who partners with this store year around.
As the store re-opened, customers were also treated to a surprise. The first 100 customers received a $10 gift card and a Food Lion reusable bag to help make shopping easier.
Store 2138 - Statesville, N.C.
Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Fresh Changes at Food Lion in Statesville, N.C.
At store 2138 in Statesville, N.C., a crowd of customers joined a group of very excited Food Lion associates as they awaited the re-launch of their fresh, new Food Lion store.
After providing brief opening remarks, Brandon Phillips, who currently serves as temporary store manager, happily cut the ribbon.
On hand to join the celebration were community partners Joy Morrison from Iredell Christian Ministries and Renee Griffith from Cornerstone Church. Food Lion works closely with these agencies to provide food to local residents in need, and, to thank them for their tireless efforts, Phillips provided each with a $500 donation as part of the celebratory activities.
"We're very appreciative of all Food Lion does in the community," noted both Morrison and Griffith as the crowd cheered their during their check presentation.
The feeding agencies decided to leave their large mock checks behind for the store to display to serve as a reminder to the community of what Food Lion does to help their neighbors in need.
Store 1 - Salisbury, N.C.
Food Lion Brings Fresh Changes Home at Store 1 in Salisbury, N.C.
Food Lion officially unveiled its remodeled Store 1 to the Salisbury, N.C., community today, with Patricia Ebright leading the charge at the first store for our company where it all started!
Among a crowded parking lot of associates, local dignitaries and Food Lion President Meg Ham, Vice President Central Division Dave Bass and Joey Williams, Director of Operations, Ebright shared all the changes Food Lion has made to improve the shopping experience.
N.C. State Representative Harry Warren, Mayor Karen Alexander and Chairman of the Rowan County Board of Commissioners Greg Edds were all in attendance and praised Food Lion for the changes that we've made in the store, and they have all noticed a difference! Edds applauded Food Lion for the remarkable difference in culture and customer care, and said we should be very proud.
Before snipping the ribbon, Ebright also made a $1,000 donation to Rowan Helping Ministries.
And, the day was bittersweet as many in attendance reflected, and commented, on how proud Mr. Ralph Ketner, Food Lion's founder, would have been of the changes and celebration!
Store 2669 - Gastonia, N.C.
Cake for Breakfast at Gastonia, N.C.'s Refreshed Food Lion Celebration
Store 2669 was already bustling when the first customer arrived at 6:45 a.m. to await the grand re-opening celebration and gift card giveaway.
The first thing to note upon entering the store was a huge cake stating "Celebrate Your Fresh New Food Lion," artfully baked and decorated by Bonnie, who works in the bakery at Store 2669. The pride associates took in this store was palpable.
"We're so ready to re-open our store!" exclaimed associate Joanne. "We couldn't be more excited."
Store Manager Jeremy Jackson, who recently moved over to lead nearby Food Lion store in Gastonia, returned to Store 2669 this morning to lead the celebration.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team of associates. Without them, this whole renovation process would not have been possible," noted Jackson.
Food Lion leaders including Vice President of Strategy and Business Development Jason Wilson, Director of Operations Allen Frost as well as local dignitaries State Representative Dana Bumgardner and Mayor Pro Tem Todd Pierceall were on hand as Jackson spoke to the crowd about the store enhancements as well as made a $500 donation to community partners Crisis Assistance Ministries and SOCKS Crisis Ministries for their hunger-relief initiatives.
Representative Bumgardner, who lives just a mile from the store and shops there regularly with his wife, spoke about the impact Food Lion makes on its local communities.
"You can stop here and get anything you want, and we forget how convenient that is, how nice it is to go to the grocery store and get something good to eat anytime you want it, and have it be fresh," Bumgardner said during the speech. Food Lion is a home-grown company in North Carolina and we're proud to have them. Thank you for the investment you've made in the communities, and your state."
After the ribbon was cut, $10 gift cards and thermal tote bags were given to the first 100 customers in the store. It truly was a great day at Food Lion.
Store 2537 - Rock Hill, S.C.
Fresh, New Food Lion Celebrates Re-Launch Compelte with Community Donations
Food Lion store 2537 in Rock Hill, S.C. not only cut the ribbon on their newly remodeled store, but also donated funds to two local agencies that support hunger relief efforts.
HOPE and Care and Rescue each received $500 or 5,500 meals.
"Food Lion's commitment to the neighborhood and the City has been phenomenal," said Gordon Bell, Business Partner Developer for HOPE.
Store Manager Drew Elliott, spoke about the new product offerings, easy checkout procedures, employee training and additional enhancements, all which offer customers an easy, fresh and affordable shopping experience.
"Today is an inspiration and awesome experience for all of our associates and customers," Drew commented. "We get to love and live 'easy, fresh and affordable.'"
Associates joined Drew in the celebration during a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The store is bright, airy, clean and wonderful," said Lynn Hyatt, morning cashier associate. "It makes you want to come to work."
At the conclusion of the ribbon cutting, the first 100 customers received a $10 gift card and a thermal Food Lion reusable bag.
The customers were delighted and associates enjoyed giving out the gifts.
It was a great day at Food Lion and the beginning of a fresh, new experience for customers to experience and associates to deliver every day.
Store 1570 - Mooresville, N.C.
Mooresville Community Welcomes Their Refreshing New Food Lion
A large crowd gathered at the Food Lion location on Williams Road in Mooresville this morning to cut the ribbon and celebrate the grand re-opening of their fresh, new Food Lion.
Mike Deal, the manager of store 1570, got his team and the crowd of retail leaders and loyal customers ready for a whole new shopping experience by outlining some of the new elements in the store, one of 142-Charlotte-area locations recently refreshed as part of a $215 million capital investment by the company.
Also joining in the fun were several elected officials: State Representative John Fraley, Mayor Pro-Tem Thurman Houston, and County Commissioner Bobby Compton. Mayor Pro-Tem Houston spoke and said that, "We appreciate all that Food Lion does for the Mooresville community. It's not only a great place to shop but a great member of the community as well." Commissioner Compton added that "Food Lion is a great corporate citizen and we are pleased that they are a member of the Mooresville community."
In his remarks, Mike Deal mentioned that he knows the community counts on Food Lion to give back, and at the event today, Mike presented a check for $1,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, the feeding agency assigned to this specific store through Food Lion's retail recovery program. Accepting the donation for Second Harvest was David Brown, food sourcing manager, and also the food bank employee who oversees the Food Bank's mobile pantry program, which Food Lion just announced yesterday that it was donating a truck to. David showed great appreciation for the mobile pantry donation and gave great context of the food bank's mobile pantry program and how the new vehicle will be used.
It was a great day in Mooresville and in all the Charlotte-area communities celebrating their refreshing new Food Lion!
Store 2654 - Kings Mountain, N.C.
Kings Mountain Food Lion Celebrates New, Fresh Store by Donating to Crisis Ministry
Local leaders joined the ribbon cutting ceremony at Food Lion Store 2654 this morning as Food Lion revealed its newly renovated store with increased product offerings, an easier and faster shopping experience along with increased customer support from associates.
Local dignitaries were in attendance, including Jason Falls, Chairman Board of Commissioners, Johnny Hutchins, Commissioner, Scott Neisler, Mayor, Mike Butler, Mayor Pro Tem and Jay Rhodes, Council Member.
"It is a pleasure to be here this morning," Mayor Scott Neisler said during the ribbon cutting ceremony. "We appreciate the investment that Food Lion has made here, and also on the other side of town. Congratulations, Food Lion."
In tradition with Food Lion's legacy of caring for the towns and cities where they operate stores, Food lion donated $1,000, or 11,000 meals to Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry as part of the celebration. Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry is a feeding agency that has a long standing relationship with the store.
As the team of store associates gathered to celebrate their hard work, they were thanked by store manager, Rodney Towery.
"I want to thank you for your hard work and patience, Towery noted. "We have a beautiful store here. Please enjoy today, have fun with each other. From the bottom of my heart, you all have done a phenomenal job. Today is a tribute to every one of you standing here. This is one incredible team, and I know that we will do great things here in Kings Mountain."
The first 100 customers were greeted with a $10 Food Lion gift card and an insulated bag. Towery thanked everyone for coming out.
"We are so proud to bring you this new Food Lion," Towery added. "We appreciate your patience during construction. Today, we are bringing our valued customers a new fresh shopping experience through our incredible team of associates, new décor and enhanced variety and assortment."
Store 2592 – Boone, N.C.
35 Degrees Can't Stop a Food Lion Re-Grand Opening in Boone, N.C.
Patiently waiting for the appointment time, a small but brave crowd stood in 35 degree weather outside Food Lion Store 2592 to be included in the grand re-opening festivities.
Store Manager Bruce Bloomer led the morning's ribbon cutting ceremony, speaking to the customers' requests and how Food Lion has listened and responded, refreshing their shopping experience to make it easy, fresh and affordable.
Food Lion also honored its two local feeding agencies at the event. Elizabeth Young from the Hunger and Health Coalition was in the attendance to graciously accept a check for $500. Three Forks Baptist Association also received a check for $500, but regretfully they were not able to make it this morning.
Mayor Rennie Brantz congratulated Food Lion on a beautiful store and offered his support on a weekly basis, noting that he was a regular there. Also in attendance were Jimmy Hodges, Chairman of Watauga County Board of Commissioners, David Blust, Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners and Councilmember Charlotte Mixelle, as well as Food Lion leaders Steve Petty, Director of Strategy and Implementation and Tom Franklin, Manager of Strategy/remodels.
"I want to thank my associates in this store for living the Count On Me experience throughout the entire process of renovation. I could not be any more proud of this team in making sure our customers were taken care of 100 percent of the time." said Bloomer.
"I live just up the road and my wife and I have always supported this store, and now it is even more beautiful place to shop," said Chairman Hodges.