Bloom to become Food Lion

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Bloom grocery store located on Carrollton Boulevard will convert back to a Food Lion by the end of the year, according to the store’s parent company. The store opened originally as Food Lion in 2003 and became Bloom in 2007.

It hasn’t been long since Carrollton residents had to adjust to their Food Lion switching to the higher-end Bloom store concept, but soon they will make another change.

Delhaize America, the parent company for Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar food stores, announced it was retiring the Bloom banner, and in turn, closing seven stores and converting any others to Food Lion stores.

While the Bloom on Carrollton Boulevard escaped closure, it is set to become a Food Lion as soon as possible.


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Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Food Lion, said it is the company’s hope to have all Blooms switched by the end of the year.

She said the conversion process will require some construction and reorganization within the stores.

“The stores will remain open during the process,” Phillips-Brown said. “We’ll work to minimize inconvenience for our customers.”

The Carrollton store first opened as a Food Lion in 2003 and switched to Bloom in 2007.

Phillips-Brown said the company created Bloom and Bottom Dollar, a discount grocer, to diversify their business four years ago.

“They were new banners,” she said. “It was a decision we made at the time as we were exploring customer options.”

Isle of Wight resident Jackie Pippins visits Bloom regularly to make quick grocery runs.

She said she was surprised to hear the store was changing back to Food Lion, because it hasn’t been a Bloom very long.

“Honestly, I think it’s crazy,” Pippins said. “It just seems like they have gone full circle.”

However, she expects to continue to shop at the store on Carrollton Boulevard under one condition.

“I go where the prices are right,” Pippins said.

Like Pippins, Smithfield resident Sharon Hundley said, the conversion won’t change her decision to shop at the store.

“When it was a Food Lion, I shopped here,” she said. “The name doesn’t affect my shopping choice.”

While the store will certainly get a new sign, other changes to come have not been announced.

“A lot of the details we are still working out,” Phillips-Brown said.

Bloom and Food Lion have two separate savings cards, but she said the company has not decided how it will handle that transition.

The stores will be able to help anyone wishing to sign up for Food Lion’s free MVP card. However, she said, the store will honor Bloom gift cards even after the conversion.

While some shoppers are indifferent about the conversion, Carrollton resident Charles Shinn hopes the conversion will bring good changes.

“If the prices go down, it’s great,” he said.

Shinn, who lives in Eagle Harbor, said he was upset when the store became Bloom, because he thought the prices went up.

“This is convenient for me,” he said. “That’s why I come here.”

Delhaize America announced the abandonment of the Bloom concept and store conversions in a press release Wednesday.

The company also plans to convert several Bottom Dollar Food stores and will close six Bottom Dollar and 113 Food Lion locations.

As a result of the closures, about 4,900 positions will be cut.

Most associates at converted stores will not lose their jobs, according to the press release.

One of the Bottom Dollar locations on the chopping block is a Portsmouth store.

The location originally opened as a Food Lion in December 1988, and it was converted to a Bottom Dollar in August 2007.

All stores set for closure will be shuttered in 30 days or less, according to the company’s press release.

Phillips-Brown said the markdown process for these stores will begin Wednesday.

She said the company hopes to better serve its customers, and it feels the changes will help achieve that goal.

“We believe Food Lion stores will better meet the customer needs,” she said.