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    Food Lion's Bloom to Blossom Outside N.C.

    SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion's Bloom concept is moving beyond its testing ground of Charlotte, N.C., and into two major markets: Washington, D.C. with as many as 40 stores; and in Greenville, S.C.

    SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion's Bloom concept is moving beyond its testing ground of Charlotte, N.C., and into two major markets: Washington, D.C. with as many as 40 stores; and in Greenville, S.C.

    Delhaize-owned Food Lion confirmed yesterday that approximately 40 Washington-area Food Lion stores will undergo a complete makeover to become Bloom stores this year. The work begins this spring, and will finish sometime in late fall. Company officials said they plan to hire about 2,500 people to staff the new units.

    The Bloom stores will serve Fredericksburg, Manassas, Dale City, Herndon, Fairfax, and Leesburg, Va., Gaithersburg, Md., and other areas.

    Meanwhile, Bloom officials have announced an expansion into the Greenville, S.C., area, where seven Bloom stores are scheduled to open later this year. The company's plans include two Bloom stores in Greenville proper, and one each in Anderson, Seneca, Mauldin, Greer, and Simpsonville.

    Bloom debuted in Charlotte, N.C., with five test stores that opened in 2004.

    "Bloom really is a different kind of grocery store," said Robin Johnson, director of Bloom's marketing and brand development, in a statement. "Our development team spent two years studying retail trends in North America and Europe to develop and design a grocery store that provides a distinctly convenient and novel shopping experience."

    "Guests can expect to find high-quality, fresh products, superior services, surprisingly deep variety, and helpful technology unique to the grocery industry," she added. "And we're able to offer all of this at prices well below other grocery stores because we leverage the buying power and operating efficiency of our global organization, the Delhaize Group."

    Bloom was designed from a shopper's perspective. The format features wider aisles, 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.

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