Food Lion left our area a few years ago — and now is back? Good news or bad news?
I for one wish they hadn’t – come back that is. So for me, it’s bad news. I would have preferred any other store in that location. They had their issues before and they have them now. Their lure is low prices — but at what cost? Annoying customers?
Last round, in approximately 1992 or ’93, they left our area after the PrimeTime Live news reported a story about employee work issues (unpaid overtime being required, etc) and bleaching/remarking meat, seafood and pork as well as cleaning off the expiration dates on the dairy products – and so… who wasn’t glad to see them go? If they’d stoop that low… what else would they do? In this affluent area where the median income is over $100,000 per family, do we need any of that drama? No, and I believe that management made the smart decison to pack up and change store names to avoid the stigma of those allegations. No one, at that time, that I knew was ever going to touch any meat or seafood from a Food Lion again! Food Lion even posted following that news report that some stores were reporting no meat sales at all. So even if it wasn’t true in the store you shopped at, no one wanted to take that chance. Ugly, ugly stuff – almost as ugly as the pink slime fiasco in the schools. The decision was made to put in a “Bloom” store in our area, the upscale partner of the “Bottom Dollar” stores – both by the same owner/parent company as Food Lion. These would then be the two new names the company would operate under in our area to avoid the uproar caused by that news report. For the most part, it was a better shopping experience at Bloom, which had cleaner, remodeled stores, unobstructed aisles and a better overall grade of products. The employees were nice, available and most helpful. Some mistakes were made over the almost 10 years they operated as a Bloom, but always dealt with professionally.
This round ~ different story all together. And that has me wondering — if this is the same parent company, was Bloom allowed to operate under different basic rules than Food Lion? Or now that that have the name back are they going back to their old ways?
Specifically, I wonder why they did it? There is a new Walmart Superstore in the same shopping center, probably less than 500 ft. from this store, and also a Target Superstore in this same shopping center. I would think those are two stores which would be in competition with Food Lion would have made them “reconsider”. Obvious to a shopper and even with the competition right in front of their face, they decided to change back to a Food Lion. I know I still felt the stigma in the store when I visited it recently – and noticed that even all the employees have been changed. Why do all the employees have to change when they “redo” stores — wouldn’t that continuity help in the transition? The new employees don’t know anyone who’s a regular, they don’t use any common sense when dealing with situations, and they never seem to have the “authority” to do anything about any issue that arises.
In case you are wondering, and I know you are… yes, I had a miserable experience at the “new” Food Lion in my area just the other day. It didn’t help that the heat was like 90 degrees outside and the humidity was close to it. It didn’t help that it was at the end of my overheated work day that I was shopping either. Heat, as you know stresses our bodies, and let’s just say that stress hit the breaking point on a issue at the Food Lion. It was so annoying to me that I will not be ever setting foot in that store again.
In the end, I made a complaint – not only verbally in the store that day, but later online and by phone when the credit for the issue wasn’t posted till days after the charge for my groceries. The manager to his credit, phoned me at home and later emailed me that he was sending me a gift card and a copy of the credit (because at that point I had no idea if they really even did it) as they never gave me a receipt for it. But I am sorry – the tone of your store was obvious to me after my recent experience and I really will not ever be stepping foot in that particular store location again.
Please note: The opinions stated here are totally my own, from my own personal experiences at this store.