Food Lion in Full Bloom in Nation’s Capital
By George Anderson
Food Lion intends to convert forty locations in the Washington, D.C. area to its upscale Bloom store format this year.
Karen Peterson, a spokesperson for Food Lion, told The Washington Times, “We have studied the demographics of the market [in Washington]. “This particular grocery store … certainly meets the needs of the shoppers in this area.”
The Bloom format focuses on perishables and prepared foods and has moved everyday staples, such as milk and bread, near the front of the store to make shopping more convenient for quick trip shoppers.
The stores also make extensive use of technology, allowing consumers to walk the aisles with hand-held scanners to reduce checkout times. Monitors positioned throughout the store also provide shoppers with recipes for the items they are buying.
Jeff Metzger, publisher of Food World, said the Bloom format has “a little of Whole Foods in it, but it’s not organic. It’s got a little of Balducci’s, but it’s not gourmet.”
George Whalin, president and ceo of Retail Management Consultants and RetailWire BrainTrust panelist, said Food Lion is following the same track of many other grocers that are looking to differentiate from the likes of Wal-Mart’s Supercenters.
“The traditional supermarket model is broken,” he said. “It’s why stores like Bloom and Lifestyle (Safeway) stores and companies like Whole Foods are making traditional supermarkets rethink how they do businesses.”
Food Lion first tested the Bloom concept in 2004 with five stores in the Charlotte, N.C. market.
Moderator’s Comment: Is the Bloom format a winner for Food Lion (Delhaize)? What role/consumer niches are addressed by the individual formats operated
by the company including Bloom, Bottom Dollar and traditional Food Lion? –
George Anderson – Moderator