By Joel M. Albrizio, President
"The King Of The Retail Jungle & A Great Comeback"
Food Lion has traveled an interesting road to where it is today. Founded in 1957 originally under the corporate name Food Town by Ralph Ketner. Mr. Ketner and later the Belgium based Delhaize Group operated the original group of Food Town's under this name until 1983 when the company was renamed Food Lion.
"Food Lion Has A Commanding Presence"
With over 1,000 locations Food Lion has had many bumps in this long road. After unsuccessful attempts with international expansion and difficulty with domestic retail banners like Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food, Harvey's, Reid's.... Food Lion continues to bump along this road.
ABC News Attacks Food Lion!
Wait, even ABC News took its shots at Food Lion via its programming under Primetime Live. If that wasn't enough "Peta" felt Food Lion was politically incorrect for using a Lion as its mascot. This retailer just has no luck at all.
So with more negative news than most any business could survive and supermarket closings all over the world how does Food Lion survive? Based on all of this negative information you might expect any chain under the name of Food Lion to be a disaster as a retail entity facing certain elimination in todays competitive landscape.
Does anyone Like Or Trust Food Lion?
An overall negative view of this retailer would be understandable except Food Lion is still one of the most valuable banners underwriting a major percentage of the very successful Delhaize Group.
Even a superficial glance at The Delhaize Group smells of success. That being said, Food Lion is a big contributor to the Delhaize brand and success story. This company "Delhaize"operating as both a wholesaler and supermarket retailer has a market cap of over 11 Billion bolstering stockholder equity.
Delhaize stockholders are a delighted group of investors. In one of the most difficult retail food environments The Delhaize Group has a stock price that has more than doubled in the last three years. Delhaize stockholder value has grown from $12 per share to over $26 today!
Keep in mind this is the same retail environment where Walmart lost over 100 billion in market cap in 2015 alone!
Food Lion despite its bumpy road leading to a reputation often questioned is a solid retailer on the move. This is a Lion that could & should really roar. We feel its about to roar and roar loudly in fact.
As a sustainable supermarket entity Food Lion could use a more specific branding push that may be in the works with its acquisition by Ahold. Food Lion is a company that could be reignited and destined for greatness with just a slightly more definable brand.
Food Lion and its parent company now Ahold have an opportunity to align themselves like never before with items well branded themselves in every category creating Food Lion as a more definable entity.
Food Lion could then concentrate on customer service programs that would ultimately develop into customer retention programs raising the average basket size and capturing the all important retail mix.
"Ahold Has A Proven Success Story"
When Ahold puts its proven success in understanding differentiation within the marketplace and its individual brands behind Food Lion great things are certain to happen.
Its our hope that Ahold works with Food Lion and doesn't try to fix this real life retail giant. Food Lion may not need to be fixed.... Food Lion has a story to be told. It's a great story and with that story told, Food Lion will remove the last of the nameless, faceless, plastic feel most large retail corporations struggle with.
"Food Lion Is Not Just Another Big Box Retailer"
If you really take a close look at Food Lion you will see a great company full of dedicated employees looking to learn and to continue to grow a company with a legacy. Food Lion has overcome so much.....tell the story for what it is...
A Great American Retailer Surviving Despite Unthinkable Odds.
In closing, many have asked why I choose to write about what we see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. It is our belief at Adlife that to sell through cold calling only as a company is disingenuous. Just lowering your advertising costs will never resolve any supermarket retailers larger issues long term. At Adlife we believe our ideas and its resulting branding will give new life and direction to your company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.
Joel M. Albrizio President Adlife Marketing & Communications
Thank-you for you ideas & support!