Conyers Food Lion among 113 stores shut down

CONYERS — The parent company of Food Lion announced that the Conyers store will be among 113 locations to close as part of a broad restructuring.

A manager at the Conyers Food Lion, located at 4489 Ga. Highway 20 in the Magnet community, referred all questions to a corporate communications officer.

Christy Phillips-Brown, a spokeswoman for Delhaize Group, said Thursday all stores will close within 30 days of Thursday's announcement. She said The Conyers Food Lion, which opened in July 2010 averaged between 35 and 40 employees.

The closings means 4,900 employees across the country will lose their jobs. Food Lion's parent company, Delhaize America, said in a statement that the closings were part of a company-wide restructuring to stay competitive in the grocery store market.

Along with Food Lion, Delhaize America operates Bloom, Bottom Dollar Food and Harveys stores across the United States.

"Today's actions will continue to solidify our U.S. operations and enable our company to focus on our successful brand strategy repositioning at Food Lion and the expansion of Bottom Dollar Food in new markets," said Ron Hodge, CEO of Delhaize America. "While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, 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."

The 113 stores to be closed was identified as the most underperforming and with the least store density. The company will also retire the Bloom store brand, a chain of stores operated by Food Lion. Sixty-four Bloom stores in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina will be converted into Food Lions. The company also announced closing of 13 other stores and shut down its distribution center in Clinton, Tenn.

The company's statement added that it will accelerate the opening of 600 to 700 new Food Lions elsewhere in the country.

The company said it will provide severance to eligible employee, and will work with government officials to assist with transition support. Employees were also encouraged to apply for open positions within the company, according to the company's statement.