Delhaize America, the parent company of Bloom and Food Lion, announced this week that it would close 126 stores, including the groceries on Fort Evans Road in Leesburg and at Farmwell Hunt Plaza in Ashburn. The stores will close by Feb. 10.
Bloom was a rebranded version of Food Lion that the company now plans to retire. While new stores were opened under that banner, several Bloom stores were revamped Food Lions. Forty-two stores will convert back to Food Lion stores, including the stores on in Great Falls Plaza in Sterling and on East Main Street in Purcellville. In addition, the Bottom Dollar store in Sterling Park will be converted to a Food Lion.
Bloom once had four locations in Loudoun, including two in Ashburn. The store at Village Center at Belmont Greene closed in February 2010, about 16 months after it opened. That space remains vacant, prompting the question of what will happen to the spaces in Leesburg and Ashburn.
In all, the company said 4,900 employees would be let go.
Delhaize announced the following moves to put the company back on track:
- Close 113 underperforming Food Lion stores, primarily in markets in which the company has the least store density;
- Retire the Bloom banner;
- Convert 64 Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia to Food Lion stores;
- Close seven underperforming Bloom stores and six underperforming Bottom Dollar Food stores in overlapping Food Lion markets;
- Convert one Food Lion store in Florida to a Harveys store;
- Discontinue operations of its distribution center located in Clinton, Tenn., and
- Accelerate the roll out of the Food Lion brand strategy in an additional 600 to 700 stores.
"While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities,” said Ron Hodge, CEO of Delhaize America, in a statement from the company, “we believe these actions will enable us to better serve our customers in our markets with high density, while positioning the company for future growth."
All affected stores will close within 30 days, and store conversions will begin immediately. A complete list of store closings is available here.