Columbia County Food Lion stores close a week early

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 2:33 PM
Last updated 8:39 PM
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The brown paper covering the windows indicates the closing of three Food Lion grocery stores in Columbia County, a week before their intended closing date.

A woman looks at the closing notice on the front door of the Food Lion on Evans to Locks Road. The three Columbia County Food Lion stores closed a week early.  TIM RAUSCH/STAFF
A woman looks at the closing notice on the front door of the Food Lion on Evans to Locks Road. The three Columbia County Food Lion stores closed a week early.
Tim Rausch
Business Editor
Twitter: @Scuttlebiz
E-mail | 706-823-3352

In mid-January, the grocery chain’s parent company, Delhaize America, announced the closing of 113 of its underperforming Food Lion stores. Three of those were in Columbia County: 526 N. Belair Road, 3851 Evans to Locks Road and 4087 Old Petersburg Road.

Parking lots were empty, windows were covered and doors were locked Tuesday afternoon at all three locations. Corporate officials said the stores would close Feb. 15 at the latest. About 100 employees were affected by the closures.

The store closings are part of a strategy by Delhaize America to strengthen its U.S. portfolio, which includes shutting a Tennessee distribution center, eliminating the Food Lion name from Florida and rebranding other stores into Food Lions in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.

Two of the three stores were less than three years old. The Evans to Locks Road store opened in October 2009. The Evans Exchange store opened in January 2009.

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David Parker
David Parker 02/07/12 - 03:18 pm
This is not a rant or a whine

This is not a rant or a whine although by the end of it that may change. I just thought it entertaining to describe exactly what's transpired.

Upon the stores announcing they were closing, they began taking 25% off everything, with the intent to go to 50% off after a about a week or so. What they did was increase the price of typical items that folks look for sales on. For example, people don't typically keep an eye out for sugar or rice sales, so items like that are left at regular price and you do indeed save 50% (but that's cancelled out by them dropping the Food Lion Card discount and I'll get to that). But for all meat, cheese, dairy, veg, etc. the prices went up to provide everyone with a false sense they were getting something nice for patronizing Food Lion. I shopped the one on Petersburg rd almost daily even, as I live right around the corner and NOT ONCE did I ever see a rack of spare ribs priced at 28.00. I did see them around 14.00-16.00 on a regular basis though. So depending on what you try and buy, you may not have really saved a dime with the "big clearance".

So they get into the 50% stage....

My wife goes in bright and early the morning they go to 50% off, she has this idea that this gesture is b/c Food Lion appreciates their local patrons and wants to leave a good impression I guess. She quickly learned a group of shoppers were systematically hitting all three stores that morning to grab anything really significantly discounted (w/o the aforementioned mark up). So basically, she had alot of empty shelves to walk by to get to the merchandise left. Early bird gets the worm right?

My suggestion would have been that Food Lion, who decided to abandon scanning the food lion cards (which is another NON-discount they initiated in this big clearance), should have used the cards to enforce the "limit one per customer"rule, I'm convinced that alot of in and out, unloading carts and turning right around and going back in was going on.

It just could have worked out better for the folks that lived close by and were certainly deserving of a little break. Anyway, Das ve danya Food Lion, you left no questions unanswered in the end.

rmwardsr 02/07/12 - 08:20 pm
The attitude of corporate is

The attitude of corporate is an " us against them attitude", and oh by the way, we are better than you. The one on Wrightsboro Road will meet it's demise as soon as the new planned WalMart opens up there. Grovetown survives because of the transient(army) customer base. Windsor Spring Road survives because it is the only grocery store in that neck of the neighborhood, as does the one on Mike Padgett Highway. Those two stores have no competition, so it is not too hard to be the one when you are the only. They should pack up all these Food Lion dumps and leave town.

KSL 02/07/12 - 08:42 pm
rm, what's your gripe with

rm, what's your gripe with Food Lions?

countyman 02/07/12 - 11:57 pm
Bi-Lo is also located on

Bi-Lo is also located on Windsor Spring rd, and was recently renovated...

bdouglas 02/08/12 - 09:08 am
They didn't really close 'a

They didn't really close 'a week early' if your story goes on to say "Corporate officials said the stores would close Feb. 15 **at the latest.** (emphasis mine)", now did they? Also, the video accompanying this story is just riveting!

@David Parker: Ever been to Myrtle Beach in the winter? All of those big 'beach stores', as I call them, along the strip that sell beach towels, t-shirts and all the other trinkets...they advertise with huge "75% OFF SALE!" signs everywhere. But walk inside and you'll find every single thing has been grossly marked up so taking 75% off the marked price is maybe a few cents off. Squirt guns that were once 10 bucks are then marked at $25, taffy that was 3 bucks a box is now marked $10. Pretty ridiculous. There's also an overstock type of store in Aiken now that sells returned/damaged/almost-expired goods from Costco. I shop at Costco often enough to spot that fact that this overstock store's prices are right at the same thing Costco charges, or in the case of their 'huge' sales, marked up significantly so they then ring up a couple bucks less than Costco's price.

Riverman1 02/08/12 - 09:13 am
All I know is one Friday

All I know is one Friday after Thanksgiving, my truck battery was dead. So I took my car to Walmart to buy a battery and have never seen anything like it. People were coming out with these huge boxes and all manner of other things. I ended up getting my battery and three TV's. That's the ONLY time I've ever been involved with a sale of any kind. I've also never used a coupon except for the little membership keyring thing they give you. I don't believe they advertize sales and actually drop prices for anything.

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 02/08/12 - 10:08 am
River, did you need the three

River, did you need the three TV's?

David Parker
David Parker 02/08/12 - 02:51 pm
They should change the name

They should change the name to Food Feral Tabby

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