Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Food Lion spends millions to remodel its Hampton Roads stores — including those across Greater Williamsburg

Food Lion stores in Hampton Roads recently underwent renovations and updates for a new shopping experience. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)
Food Lion stores in Hampton Roads recently, including some in Williamsburg, underwent renovations and updates for a new shopping experience. Pictured here is the Food Lion on Richmond Road in Williamsburg. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

Food Lion stores across Hampton Roads have a fresh new look thanks to a $168-million makeover, the company announced Tuesday.

The North Carolina-based grocery chain celebrated the changes to its 105 locations in the region during a news conference at its store at 3960 Salem Blvd. in Virginia Beach, one of its largest stores in the area.

Food Lion, founded in 1957, has more than 1,000 stores in 10 states and has re-modeled 544 stores over the past four years, according to the company.

In the Greater Williamsburg area, Food Lion has stores at 1234 Richmond Road in Williamsburg, 7537 Richmond Road in Norge, 5601 Richmond Road in Lightfoot, 5601 Richmond Road in James City County and 701A Merrimac Trail in York County.

The renovated stores offer more food options for customers, including hand-breaded fried chicken, new deli meats such like Cajun roast beef, and a wing bar with both boneless and bone-in hot wings in the deli section.

There are also more gluten-free and organic food choices and more locally sourced produce and products.

Food Lion spokesman Benny Smith said customers have been asking for more variety, such as organic options.

“This has been an important market for us,” Smith said. “It took a lot of money, but we really wanted to make the investments to respond to our customers.”

Smith said each of the stores will now have wider aisles, new exterior signage and paint, remodeled floors, and even new uniforms for associates.

Wing Bar
Wing Bar at Food Lion in Virginia Beach (WYDaily/Julia Marsigliano)

Twelve of the 105 remodeled stores have walk-in coolers to regulate the temperature of produce and increase the products’ shelf life, Food Lion spokeswoman Rachelle Petteway said.

The products are displayed in front of the aisles and range from honey, caramel and craft root beer to fresh pasta, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.

Grand Reopening

To celebrate the investment, Smith said each of the 105 stores will give away gift cards and tote bags to customers.

The first 100 customers in line at each Food Lion on Wednesday morning will receive a gift card valued between $10 and $250, Smith said.

“They’re mystery gift cards,” Smith said. “That’s what gets people excited.”

Food Lion has also hired and promoted a combined 4,000 associates in Hampton Roads and provided them with additional training and created new service positions within the grocery stores, said Meg Ham, Food Lion’s president.

Ham, who has worked for Food Lion and its sister company, Hannaford, for 30 years, started as an assistant store manager and worked her way up to CEO.

She understands that people make a choice when it comes to grocery shopping and that low prices are important to customers.

“Give us a try,” she said.

This story was published in partnership with our sister publication, Southside Daily.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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