92 More Food Lion Stores Freshly Remodeled
Hundreds of Food Lion customers and associates in the greater Myrtle Beach, Florence, Columbia, Charleston, S.C., and Lumberton, N.C., markets got first glimpses of their newly-remodeled stores this week.
Customers cheered, took photos and raved on how fresh and new their hometown stores looked.
The remodels, which have been taken place all year, included a significant $158 million capital investment in the 92 stores.
Below are snapshots from several ribbon cutting ceremonies across the region.
Under a nearly cloudless blue sky, and in typical Columbia, S.C., summertime temperatures, a crowd of more than 300 customers gathered at 9003 Two Notch Rd. for the ribbon-cutting of the brand-new Food Lion store. Customers had long anticipated the opening of this location. It was so highly anticipated, in fact, that the first customer, Mindy Herron, arrived at 3 a.m. to secure her spot in line.
Herron, along with the other excited customers and store associates, greeted Store Manager Barry Nance with a rousing round of applause as he shared info on the new assortment and shopping experience that awaited customers inside.
Barry was joined by City Councilman Daniel Rickenmann, who praised Food Lion’s investment and its impact in the community. “Other retailers have abandoned this area but not Food Lion,” Rickenmann said. “Your investment of $158 million will be felt at this store and across the region. This is a tremendous investment in this community and it will be felt for years to come – as with the generous donation that Food Lion made to Harvest Hope Food Bank.”
The CEO of Harvest Hope Food Bank, Wendy Broderick, also spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony, sharing how Food Lion’s $200,000 donation to Harvest Hope and Lowcountry Food Bank, “will mean that we can provide fresh, healthy and nutritious food through our new refrigerated mobile pantry helping to nourish people across our 10-county footprint who we would not otherwise be able to serve. Thank you, Food Lion, for your generosity,” Broderick said, “and for leading the way for others in demonstrating what a good community partner is.” Food Lion has partnered with Harvest Hope Food Bank for more than two decades and is their longest-standing corporate partner.
Others echoed the sentiments of both the city councilman and the food bank. Robert Squirewell, a nearby resident said, “we were in a food desert once BI-LO closed. I had to go three miles to the nearest grocery store, so I have been waiting for this Food Lion to open. And what a beautiful new Food Lion it is!” he exclaimed.
Herron was also struck by how beautiful the store is. “Everything is just wonderful here,” she said. “And that fried chicken is seasoned just perfectly. It is delicious!”
Wednesday, July 17, was a special day for longtime Florence Resident Mildred Henderson. It was her 81st birthday and it was also the day herlocal Florence Food Lion celebrated its re-grand opening.
“I just love the changes,” Henderson said after entering the store Wednesday. “I probably come to this store every day. The cooler is just so amazing.”
Once an associate realized that it was Henderson’s birthday, he allowed her to select her favorite chocolate cake and paid for it personally.
“Aww this is just so kind, you didn’t have to do this,” she said.
Diane Welsh, Director of Help 4 Kids of Florence told a crowd of more than 70 people about Food Lion’s impact in fighting child hunger in the local community.
“This $1,000 in gift cards mean so much more that their monetary value. It is your concern and more importantly your action to help us reduce child hunger that means too much,” Welsh said during grand opening ceremonies. “Our mission, to provide weekend bags of food for the 2,500 food insecure children in Florence County, continues and with your help it will work better.”
Johns Island, S.C.
More than 90 customers excitedly waited in line Wednesday at the John’s Island store located on 2770 Maybank Highway to hear about what their new Food Lion had to offer and check it out for themselves. The morning kicked off with an associate huddle led by the store manager, and with their noisemakers in hand, the associates headed out of the store to let customers know it was time to kick things off.
As the store manager spoke about what customers can expect once they entered the store, she also took time out to recognize Food Lion’s support for Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC), an organization that has existed in the community since 1790, and invited Lyndsey Marchman from CYDC up to speak.
“Last week was an incredible experience with Food Lion associates and our kids during the Freedom School Summer Program, where they cooked Food Lion recipes together and received two bags of groceries to take home with them. We are so thankful for Food Lion being a part of our community and for the support they’ve given us!” said Marchman.
The morning concluded with the first customer in line receiving a bouquet of flowers, which she was surprised and excited about, and the official cutting of the ribbon before customers entered the store.
Murrell’s Inlet, S.C.
An excited crowd of customers joined the Food Lion team at the store located at 760 Mink Ave. in Murrell’s Inlet, S.C., to cut the ribbon on their newly-remodeled Food Lion. Joining the crowd was the pastor of Murrell’s Inlet Church of God, which received a $1,000 donation through Food Lion Feeds for the church’s work to fight hunger in the area.
Smiles were aplenty as customers toured their new store.
Sarah Cathey, the first customer in line to receive a complimentary gift card as part of the festivities, heaped praise on the remodeled store and associates inside.
“The store is beautiful and the associates are exceptional,” Cathey said. “I especially love the grab-and-go pre-cut fruit. The lighting makes it easier to find everything and the new layout is much easier to navigate.”
It was nothing short of a town celebration at the Pembroke, N.C., Food Lion located on 913 West Third Street, as officials cut the ribbon to celebrate its recent remodel.
Store manager Tina Britt kicked off the celebration by reflecting on one of the stores most loyal customers, Bruce Brayboy. When Britt moved back to Pembroke three years ago to manage the Food Lion she kept noticing a truck in the parking lot when she arrived at work early in the morning before the store opened. Later after the store would open, the customer would come in to do his shopping. This went on for about a week when Britt finally stopped to ask him why he showed up so early every morning before the store opened. Brayboy said, “I just want to make sure everyone is safe going in to work because it’s so early in the morning when the associates arrive.”
Britt spoke to the crowd about the changes they could expect to see in the store, and humbly thanked her store team for their tireless efforts during the remodel process. Mayor Charles Cummings also shared his comments about the changes.
Cummings said he remembered when Food Lion made their first investment in Pembroke 26 years ago with the opening of this store and how Food Lion is continuing to invest in the city with these new changes at Food Lion. Cummings also wanted to speak from the heart about his experience with Britt during both Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence. Cummings said, “Tina was the first person to offer assistance to our police, fire, EMT and city employees who were working around the clock even though her store was not opened yet.”
When the ceremony was over and the ribbon was cut, the first 100 customers were pleased to receive reusable bags, aprons and $10 gift cards to shop.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The hot summer sun did not slow down the excitement for the re-grand opening of the Food Lion at 3501 Belle Terre Blvd., in Myrtle Beach, N.C.
Customers began lining up around 7 a.m. in anticipation of shopping their favorite grocery store and for a chance to grab a gift card and Food Lion swag. As more customers began lining up, the anticipation continued to grow. The famous Tony the Tiger even showed up for the fun. Inside, store manager Emma Bullock gathered her associates for quick huddle, thanking each of them for their hard work and dedication to Food Lion during these months of construction.
Once the ceremony began, Bullock welcomed everyone for coming out and shared some of the exciting enhancements to the store, like an expanded selection of Nature’s Promise products and convenient grab and go items. Later, she presented a check for $1,000 (the equivalent of 10,000 meals) to the local Community Kitchen in Myrtle Beach, N.C.
"Community Kitchen is so grateful for the gift from Food Lion," said Deacon Peter Casamento from Community Kitchen. "They are so supportive of their communities. This gift will go towards nourishing hungry children in the local town of Myrtle Beach."
After the presentation, Emma then recognized Jandi Procko as the first customer in line that morning and presented her with a bouquet of flowers. When asked what she thought of her new Food Lion, Procko exclaimed "I love it! The new layout is great and you can't beat the fresh selection. Plus, I am right around the corner so it is nice to still see all the friendly associates I have come to know."
Once Bullock cut the ribbon with her associates at her side, the doors opened and people flocked in to experience their new Food Lion. After receiving a gift card, an apron and a reusable shopping bag, customers started to venture around the store. A favorite spot was one of the sampling stations where customers were served chicken tenders.
It was clear: Customers loved their new shopping experience in Myrtle Beach!