On Wednesday, two Food Lion stores in Rockingham and one in Hamlet held official re-opening ceremonies to celebrate the chain’s new brand strategy. In fact, 269 stores in North and South Carolina marked the day with events and fanfare.
The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Food Lion on Hwy. 74 in Rockingham, and the two other Food Lion stores in the county held celebrations around the same time.
“I know the new layout in the stores can be a little confusing to shoppers and employees at first,” said Chamber Chairman Terry Greene. “As a retailer myself, I understand that remodeling and moving around merchandise is a necessary part of the industry.”
The new branding strategy is set up to do more than just rearrange items in the stores. About 6,000 items will be offered at lower prices; there are more selections of lower priced, store brand products; new shopping carts have been added; aisles are designed to be cleaner; checkout times will be decreased; parking lots will be brighter; and produce will be fresher.
“The produce is very fresh, and we’ve added more variety with things like escarole, endive, bulk carrots, bok choy and Napa cabbage,” said Robert Windham, produce sales manager.
Rockingham Mayor Gene McLauren remarked that, as a person who worked at a local grocery story in his youth, he could appreciate what Food Lion stores have brought to Richmond County in terms of both revenue and service.
Sheldon Ellerbe has been working at Food Lion #930 since the business opened its doors in 1997.
“I love working with the public, and we have great customers,” said Ellerbe.
One customer, Mary Jane Lassiter, was the first to walk through the door in 1997 and has been coming back ever since.
“I love the employees here, and I’m able to find everything I need.”
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.