Food Lion closing three Columbia County stores

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Three years after boosting its presence in Columbia County, Food Lion is retreating, planning to close three of its grocery stores before Valentine’s Day.

The Food Lion by the Home Depot at Belair and Washington roads is one of three stores in Columbia County slated to close.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
The Food Lion by the Home Depot at Belair and Washington roads is one of three stores in Columbia County slated to close.

Two Martinez and one Evans location are among the 113 underperforming stores that parent company Delhaize America said will close within 30 days.

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

Closing on Feb. 15 or sooner are the grocery stores at 526 N. Belair Road, 3851 Evans to Locks Road and 4087 Old Petersburg Road.

Food Lion spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown said the stores could close sooner if merchandise is sold out. Mark down sales will begin Wednesday, she said.

Food Lion is the anchor tenant in the Shoppes at Petersburg on Old Petersburg Road and Village at Furys Ferry on Evans To Locks Road. The third is in the Home Depot-anchored Evans Exchange.

Many shoppers at Food Lion in The Village at Furys Ferry paused Thursday afternoon to read a sign posted on the door saying the store will close.

Evans resident Joe Johnson said he was disappointed because Food Lion is his preferred grocer because of its cleanliness and good sales.

“They have good prices, and there’s a lot of people in this area,” Johnson said. “I don’t understand why it’s closing.”

He also feared that the store’s closing could hurt other businesses in the shopping center.

Evans resident Patty Galvan shared that concern. Her parents own El Alazan Mexican restaurant, which opened in July in the shopping center.

“I think it’s going to be bad for businesses (in the center) also,” Galvan said.

The Evans To Locks Road store opened in October 2009. The Evans Exchange store opened in January 2009.

Phillips-Brown said a majority of the company’s 1,100 stores are leases, so it will not have to sell real estate after the restructuring.

“Food Lion is focused on repositioning our business for future growth,” said Cathy Green Burns, the president of Food Lion, which is headquarted in Salisbury, N.C. “By closing underperforming stores, we will continue to position Food Lion for success, especially in light of our brand strategy results.”

Delhaize is converting Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia to Food Lion stores and then retiring the Bloom name. The company is also shutting down its distribution center in Clinton, Tenn.

In all, Delhaize will be laying off 4,900 workers. The company will provide severance to eligible workers.

Phillips-Brown said about 100 employees will be affected by the closures in Columbia County.

“We’re working closely with our recruiting team to ensure all open positions are posted so that associates can see the open positions within the organization and apply for those,” she said.

Staff writer Jenna Martin contributed to this article.

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Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/12/12 - 10:48 am
0
0
Food Lion continues to suffer

Food Lion continues to suffer from poor real estate choices. They've been doing it for years & seriously need help.

What kind of store opens up right in between an established Publix, Kroger and Walmart?

BamaMan
2533
Points
BamaMan 01/12/12 - 11:05 am
0
0
Never liked Food Lion anyway.

Never liked Food Lion anyway.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/12/12 - 11:13 am
0
0
I'm not sure Chillen if

I'm not sure Chillen if it's all about real estate. Food Lion opened in Evans years ago in the current Omni space prior to Kroger opening in Evans. Needless to say, Kroger shut them down. New store, fresh, good customer relations, etc. Also, it was about the time the story broke about them bathing their rotten chickens in clorox to extend their shelf life. That did it for me.

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 01/12/12 - 11:18 am
0
0
I am glad it wasn't the one

I am glad it wasn't the one on the corner of S. Old Belair Rd. I go there all the time, closest to home and on the way home from work. That is the only grocery store between work and home.

Little Lamb
46976
Points
Little Lamb 01/12/12 - 11:19 am
0
0
I always thought it was a

I always thought it was a stupid move for Food Lion to move into that Evans-to-Locks location. It was right down the street from Bi-Lo, Publix, and Earth Fare. Why go head to head like that (and at the other location Chillen mentioned above)?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/12/12 - 11:26 am
0
0
Evans-to-Lock and N. Belair

Evans-to-Lock and N. Belair stores were obviously doomed soon after they opened. The food lion on Old Petersburg is a shock. Been zipping up there for convenience and cheap products for years and years. Essentially FL is saying that they are done in Martinez? This is ironical b/c they tend to offer cost-effective items and the direction Martinez appears to be heading, at least in that immediate area, is not households with bigger incomes. Certainly when you compare it to other areas of Martinez.

The shopping center that the FL uses on Old Petersburg road i believe is slated for demolition. I say that b/c the extension of Old Petersburg road to link up with Washington road project intends to use that land that the shopping center sits on. They've got a shiny new mosque in place and about ready for service directly behind the Circle K. This makes using the current end of Old PEtersburg Road as the point to extend, unusable.

PUblix and Bi-Lo are going to increase their customer count as they are the next place geographically for folks around LHS and Petersburg Station and surrounding areas.

Hate it most for the folks who worked there. We tried to buy up all we could to keep that one store in biz. Jez wasn't enough.

dorisday
0
Points
dorisday 01/12/12 - 11:58 am
0
0
Loved the store on Petersburg

Loved the store on Petersburg Road and all who worked there. Jim the manager just retired and he was great. We went out of our way to shop there. Please move one down to West Augusta!

Little Lamb
46976
Points
Little Lamb 01/12/12 - 12:00 pm
0
0
I am familiar with the Old

I am familiar with the Old Evans/Old Petersburg junction, as I have seen the DOT's plans for road widening there. I'm sure the owners of the Old Petersburg Food Lion shopping center wish they could sell the shopping center to the DOT, but that land is not needed by DOT for the current plans. The Circle K moved across Old Evans because the old Circle K property was purchased by DOT and is part of the current plans. DOT's plans actually are pretty good for that terrible mess there at Old Evans, Old Petersburg, and Blue Ridge — but the DOT does not have the project on their schedule for actual construction. It may be many years before the road widening.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 01/12/12 - 12:12 pm
0
0
Gee, their Belgi; it’s

Gee, their Belgi; it’s Flemish and Walloon food. Chlorinated chicken must be a delicacy.

“Food Lion LLC is the largest subsidiary of Delhaize Group. Delhaize Group is a food retailer headquartered in Belgium which operates in 7 countries. Delhaize Group was founded in Belgium in 1867.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_Lion

slickrayder
33
Points
slickrayder 01/12/12 - 12:12 pm
0
0
before i even read this

before i even read this article,i said to myself ,i bet these stores are in columbia cty or martinez... the rich folks over there dont shop at lil ole food lion. thats for the southside

Fiat_Lux
15912
Points
Fiat_Lux 01/12/12 - 12:24 pm
0
0
I'm sorry to lose the one on

I'm sorry to lose the one on Fury's Ferry. Their sales are generally much better than the nearby Bilo and, obviously, always better than Pubix. And the supermarket grading curve doesn't include Earth Fare.

Time to stock up.

You guessed it...Frank Stallone
83
Points
You guessed it...Frank Stallone 01/12/12 - 12:36 pm
0
0
"before i even read this

"before i even read this article,i said to myself ,i bet these stores are in columbia cty or martinez... the rich folks over there dont shop at lil ole food lion. thats for the southside"

Food Lion isn't that cheap. Wal-Mart in Evans is our preference although we could practically walk to the Food Lion off Old Petersburg. Wal-Mart is the key here. In time, it will essentially do the same to any chain in Grovetown just like Evans/Martinez. The IGA in Grovetown is a dead-store walking.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/12/12 - 12:51 pm
0
0
IF the center is not in the

IF the center is not in the way of the project there, then I assume they are either using a snake-like shape to the road to accomplish the linkage OR they'll use Blue Ridge Dr. and Old Petersburg stays in it's current form. Either way, if you can figure a way to tap into the traffic that should be associated with the new mosque, in retail form, that center should afford you some cheap rent.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 01/12/12 - 12:55 pm
0
0
Admittedly I am saddened to

Admittedly I am saddened to see the Petersburg location closed. In addition to a convenient location, the staff have provided years of consistently excellent service. Most of the cashiers have been there for years, unlike other stores that have a revolving door of sometimes less then pleasant teenagers. The staff greet you upon entering, they are helpful... simply put, I have grown comfortable with what often felt like a "family store". If the So. Belair store management is smart, they will cut some of their less then stellar staff to make room for the Petersburg employees. That store is in definite need of a "service make over" anyway.

Riverman1
86994
Points
Riverman1 01/12/12 - 01:16 pm
0
0
The one on the corner of

The one on the corner of Evans to Lock and Furys Ferry was my go to store for little things. Know what I mean? The place is brand new. Kind of crazy to close so quickly. I wonder what will take over the building?

hiaht74
0
Points
hiaht74 01/12/12 - 01:25 pm
0
0
before i even read this

before i even read this article,i said to myself ,i bet these stores are in columbia cty or martinez... the rich folks over there dont shop at lil ole food lion. thats for the southside

I live "over here" and we are not rich, but yes, I will shop at Publix & Bi-Lo over Food Lion every time. #1 reason: Food Lion's customer service stinks. Also, they don't double coupons like Publix & Bi-Lo do, their sales are no better & they limit the B1G1 free products. I easily save 40-50% off my grocery bill shopping at the other two stores. Couple that with friendly, knowledgable service and Food Lion didn't stand a chance, at least for me & my household.

Riverman1
86994
Points
Riverman1 01/12/12 - 01:41 pm
0
0
The Costco certainly didn't

The Costco certainly didn't help Food Lions in Martinez.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/12/12 - 01:45 pm
0
0
Guess they will have to pay

Guess they will have to pay their leases out, unless they purchased the spaces. We are getting ready to see the same thing happen to commercial properties that happened with residential...massive foreclosures. It's the next roll.

allhans
24011
Points
allhans 01/12/12 - 01:56 pm
0
0
I once bought some hot dogs

I once bought some hot dogs that was on sale at Food Lion and when I got home I checked and found that the sell-by date was the date I purchased them. That was several years ago, but I learned a lesson.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/12/12 - 02:01 pm
0
0
And wealth envy rears its

And wealth envy rears its ugly head. Even on a post about a store closing. See post at slickrayder at 11:12.

Thanks liberals. Thanks obama. Your plan is working nicely.

Riverman1
86994
Points
Riverman1 01/12/12 - 02:04 pm
0
0
Realize these stores were

Realize these stores were paying local sales tax. Costco isn't. Guess, there will be another gym moving in.

countyman
20610
Points
countyman 01/12/12 - 02:48 pm
0
0
The three stores were paying

The three stores were paying salex tax to Columbia County and not Richmond.. Costco opened in West Augusta, and the three Food Lion stores were located in Columbia County..

The opening of Costco had nothing to do with the closing of the stores..

Little Lamb
46976
Points
Little Lamb 01/12/12 - 02:48 pm
0
0
That's right. We Augustans

That's right. We Augustans have a firm policy that no resident of Columbia County can shop in our stores.

Riverman1
86994
Points
Riverman1 01/12/12 - 02:54 pm
0
0
Countyman, I shop in the

Countyman, I shop in the Furys Ferry Food Lion. I've also been spending lots at Costco since it opened. There's no doubt some of the sales tax was diverted. About the Food Lions being in Columbia County did you think I didn't know that? Heck, I thought we were all in this together.

You probably don't realize it, but that's a tacit admission by you that Costco does lessen tax revenue.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/12/12 - 02:56 pm
0
0
LoL, LL, I adhere to that

LoL, LL, I adhere to that policy,too. Luckily, we have a reciprocal agreement with Aiken, Charleston and Greenville, etc.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/12/12 - 02:59 pm
0
0
River, you are in violation

River, you are in violation of The Fued Act.

Little Lamb
46976
Points
Little Lamb 01/12/12 - 04:37 pm
0
0
tvveedie, it's a bit hard to

tvveedie, it's a bit hard to envision the road plan in words without looking at a picture, but I'll try to explain it. They are going to replace the two dead ends (Blue Ridge into Old Evans and also Old Petersburg into Old Evans) with a single intersection with one traffic light. It would be a great improvement.

Here's how it works: Imagine you are travelling west on Old Petersburg. Just as you pass the Food Lion shopping center, Old Petersburg begins veering right and you come to a stop light. You just go straight through the light to go to Lowes in Evans Towne Centre. You can turn right at the new light to go onto Blue Ridge to go to Lakeside. You can turn left at the new light to go to Walgreens at Washington Road.

Now, imagine you are traveling north on Old Evans Rd by Harvard's. When you pass the new Circle K gas station the road begins to veer right and you come to the stop light (same light as above). If you go straight through the stop light you are on Blue Ridge going to Lakeside. If you turn right at the light you are on Old Petersburg going to Augusta. If you turn left at the light you are headed to Lowes in Evans Towne Centre.

Can you see it?

Riverman1
86994
Points
Riverman1 01/12/12 - 03:02 pm
0
0
Willow, I'm almost afraid to

Willow, I'm almost afraid to ask, but what's the Fued Act?

countyman
20610
Points
countyman 01/12/12 - 04:07 pm
0
0
Riverman.. Food Lion is

Riverman.. Food Lion is closing 113 stores, and those stores were going to close anyway.. Besides the Walmart on Bobby Jones/I-520, nobody drives to Martinez to shop except the surrounding population... The opening of Costco had nothing to do with them closing.. That's why I kept saying Earthfare should have locating somewhere else.. You keep trying to change the subject from Costco not paying a portion of their sales tax, to Costco drawing CC residents away from the local Food Lion stores.. Costco and their sales tax agreement with RC is not related to this article..

Little Lamb.. This whole time I thought you lived in Columbia County.. Since you love to hype up Columbia County, and then take shots at Richmond daily on here.. I never said CC residents can't shop in RC, I mean 80% shop in RC..

Riverman1
86994
Points
Riverman1 01/12/12 - 03:14 pm
0
0
Countyman, they are closing

Countyman, they are closing under performing stores. But really, everyone knows Costco takes business from other stores, plus they get a tax break.

About Martinez and Columbia County, most of us consider West Augusta as part of Evans. We all hang out together in many ways. Nothing wrong with lots of Richmond County.

Roadkill, you can have Richmond County.

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