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SALISBURY, N.C. -- Bloom supermarkets, the innovative concept launched by Food Lion here in 2004, officially celebrated the grand openings of its 40 stores in the Washington, D.C. metro area last week. The new units are creating 2,238 new jobs in Maryland and northern Virginia.
As reported earlier on progressivegrocer.com, Food Lion had said last April it would convert 40 of its Washington, D.C. stores to the Bloom brand.
The Bloom concept debuted in Charlotte, N.C. with five test stores that opened in 2004. The concept was later expanded to the Greenville, S.C. area with seven stores. Bloom stores now serve Fredericksburg, Manassas, Dale City, Herndon, Fairfax, and Leesburg, Va.; Gaithersburg, Md.; and other areas.
Bloom focuses on providing superior customer service. Associates hired to work at Bloom receive retail grocery technical training, management/leadership training, and Bloom culture training. Positions include taste ambassadors, whose role is to provide customers with recipe ideas, assistance with menu planning, and samples of specially prepared in-store foods.
Food Lion designed the concept from a shopper's perspective. According to Robin Johnson, Bloom's director of marketing, Bloom takes the hassle out of shopping and makes it fun and easy. Bloom features lower shelves, and information kiosks to help consumers find products, check prices, and print out recipes, as well as an intuitive layout of products throughout the stores. In addition, the store offers guest services, where consumers can print pictures, purchase postage and ship packages, pay utility bills or conduct banking services, rent or purchase DVDs, make copies, and more.
Food Lion, LLC is a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group.