Food Lion spearheads a seafood shift
Delhaize America-owned Food Lion has not exactly been revered as a leader in fresh seafood retailing. Traditionally, the Salisbury, N.C.-based chain of 1,100 stores sported very small fresh seafood sections and its frozen and canned seafood sets were limited. The chain’s overall neglect of its perishable categories, along with other operational issues, led Delhaize to shut down 113 underperforming Food Lion stores in 2012.
However, the company is now banking on an expanded selection of fresh and frozen seafood as well as a new sustainability program to turn around sales and consumer perception. These upgraded seafood initiatives dovetail with the recent unveiling of its new “easy, fresh and affordable” store format, which features smaller stores, everyday low pricing, “grab and go” foods, daily dinner deals and an expanded gluten-free foods section.
To fit in with the new retailing philosophy, Food Lion doubled frozen seafood space in nearly 100 of its stores in early March.
“We have used that space to add a variety of convenient meal solutions and expanded offerings in our current product categories,” said Josanna Busby, Food Lion seafood category manager. “We believe our expanded frozen assortment will be one area where our customers will experience more choices at purchasing those sustainable seafood products they want the most.”
Frozen seafood items added include meal solutions such as marinated salmon and gluten-free seafood, along with line extensions of popular products like mussels and clams.
In the supermarket chain’s fresh seafood department, Food Lion has added value-added seafood items, but has not increased space for fresh product.