Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Food Lion Going in the Wrong Direction

According to the article below, it sounds like Food Lion (a.k.a. Delhaize) will be converting most of its Blooms into Food Lion stores.  And honestly, I just can't understand the reasoning behind this.  Bloom stores are plainly superior to the sub-standard experience I usually get from my local Food Lion.

For those of you not familiar with Bloom.  Think of your local Harris Teeter.  I love my local Harris Teeter, and I know many others who do too. With large and fresh veggie selections, a nice meat and seafood department, selection of high-end cheeses, specialty items (like Indian and Thai foods) and large beer and wine selections, THIS is a place that knows how to make shopping enjoyable.

My few Bloom experiences were far superior to my usual Food Lion experiences.  I have two Food Lions near me, and usually this is my shopping experience.  Below are parts of some of my conversations that I've actually had at these Food Lions.

At the deli area:
Where's the fresh Parmesan?  No, I don't want the Kraft stuff stored at room temperature for 20 years.
Do you have any Black Forest Ham?  No?  Honey Ham?  No?  Any ham?
Do you have any good, crusty, bread -- like a French baguette or sourdough loaf?  No, not the Pepperidge farms breads -- REAL bread.

In the fruit and vegetable area:
Do you have any shallots? No, not scallops, shallots -- they're like little onions *sigh* never mind.

In the meat area: (assuming I can find a butcher, which isn't always the case.)
Do you have any non-farm raised (insert fish name here)?  No?  Didn't think so....
Can I get a boneless pork shoulder?  Not for another few days?

In the Dairy Aisle:
Why does it smell like sour milk?  Excuse me, sir? Your dairy refrigerator is over 60 degrees.  (His response:  "The refrigerator is on a DEFROST cycle."  When was the last time, you had to defrost your fridge?)

In the check-out area:
Sure, I'll help you bag my groceries.....

The Harris Teeter closest to me is always packed with people.  While the local Food Lions are comparably empty?  Why?  My guess is the HT offers an enjoyable shopping experience, with a large selection of high-quality foods and an inviting atmosphere. And if I want to stock-up on cheap pre-packaged stuff (like soda or chips) I'll just head to Target or Wal Mart -- not Food Lion.

When Food Lion (a.k.a. Delhaize) created the Bloom brand several years ago, I had hoped that ALL Food Lions would eventually adopt the Bloom example of freshly prepared foods, high quality produce, large selections, and an inviting atmosphere.

Sadly, with this decision it looks like we'll be losing some excellent grocery stores -- and I'm guessing that closing Bloom stores is just the beginning of closings for Food Lion.  After all, when was the last time you heard your neighbor exclaim "I love my Food Lion!"  Yeah, me neither.


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