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    Food Lion to Introduce New Format, Banner

    SALISBURY, N.C. - Food Lion, LLC here today said it plans to open five pilot stores to test a new store concept, format, and brand name. The pilot stores, all scheduled to open by the end of 2004 in the Charlotte, N.C. area, will be named "Bloom, A Food Lion Market."

    SALISBURY, N.C. - Food Lion, LLC here today said it plans to open five pilot stores to test a new store concept, format, and brand name. The pilot stores, all scheduled to open by the end of 2004 in the Charlotte, N.C. area, will be named "Bloom, A Food Lion Market."

    Bloom stores are being designed to serve customers by providing a simple, uncomplicated, and hassle-free shopping experience. The first Bloom store will open May 26 in Charlotte. Bloom will be a new brand under the Food Lion banner. Food Lion operates more than 1,200 stores in 11 states.

    Recognizing that customer needs, expectations, and behaviors are changing and becoming more and more diverse, Food Lion created a cross-functional "concept" team in 2002. The team's mission was to examine customer and retail trends, identify unique opportunities for growth, and develop retail concepts to capture those opportunities. The Bloom concept and planned test stores are a result of this work.

    "Bloom is an extension of the Food Lion model," said Robert Canipe, Food Lion v.p. of business strategy. "Bloom will offer competitive prices, provide the freshest products, and focus on eliminating many of the hassles of shopping. Through these pilot stores, Bloom will seek to create a unique identity and customer base of its own."

    Customers will quickly notice Bloom's new approach to store design, layout, and merchandising. Bloom also will test some of the proven leading-edge technologies in the retail industry. The objective behind the technologies is to enhance the shopping experience and help customers find products, get information, and check out with greater ease.

    "We want to offer hassle-free shopping solutions and a retail experience customers will appreciate," Canipe said.

    After the first Bloom store opens, the four other pilot stores will open in the greater Charlotte area before the end of 2004.

    The Bloom pilot stores will place an emphasis on meeting customers' needs for home meal solutions. Among the products and services offered will be Boston Market home meal solutions. Food Lion and Boston Market Corp. announced a partnership last December. Seven Food Lion stores and each of the Bloom test stores will offer fresh, ready-to-eat, and ready-to-heat Boston Market home-style meals.

    Food Lion chose "Bloom, A Food Lion Market" as the name of the new store concept after significant research and development. Through consumer feedback, Food Lion arrived at "Bloom" as the name that best resonated with the customers on an emotional level. Food Lion wanted to create a brand that's upbeat, uncomplicated, and hassle-free, yet founded in Food Lion's tradition of competitive prices.

    "Bloom is a different kind of name for a grocery store," Canipe explained. "The name reflects the beginning of something new, and our desire to create a unique shopping experience."

    Food Lion LLC is a subsidiary of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group. Food Lion runs more than 1,200 stores and employs approximately 73,000 associates in 11 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Food Lion stores offer more than 28,000 products, including a wide selection of Food Lion brand items.

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