Food lion chesapeake va
Food Lion was founded in 1957 in Salisbury, North Carolina, as Food Town by Wilson Smith, Ralph Ketner, and Brown Ketner. The Food Town chain was acquired by the Belgium-based Delhaize Group grocery company in 1974. In June 2015, it was announced that Food Lion’s parent company, the Delhaize Group, and Ahold would merge into Ahold Delhaize. This merger was completed in July 2016.
The Food Lion name was adopted in 1983; as Food Town expanded into Virginia, the chain encountered several stores called Foodtown in the Richmond area. Expansion into Maryland would have been a bigger problem since about 100 independent, but affiliated, stores were called Food Town.
Because Delhaize had a lion in its logo, Food Town had asked to use it on product labels and new store signs. Ralph Ketner realized “lion” needed only two new letters and the movement of another in the chain’s signs. On December 12, 1982, Ketner announced the name change to “Food Lion,” and by the end of March 1983, all stores had been rebranded. The name change, while puzzling for American customers, made economic and historic sense, as Delhaize was once known as “Delhaize Le Lion.”
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Throughout the 1980s, Food Lion expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The company continued their expansion throughout the late 1980s, opening hundreds of stores in existing markets such as the Carolinas and the Virginias, and entering new markets such as Georgia and Maryland.
In the early 1990s, Food Lion stores appeared in new markets such as Delaware and southern Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Shreveport, Louisiana; Dallas/Fort Worth; and Houston, Texas. (Of these eight markets Food Lion penetrated in the 1990s, the only ones that still have stores are Delaware and parts of southern Pennsylvania, such as Hanover). During this time, the chain was the fastest-growing supermarket company in the U.S., as they opened over 100 new stores each year. In November 1992, a critical PrimeTime Live report that showed unsanitary handling of meat and seafood hurt the chain as they attempted to enter new markets in the Northeast and Southwest.