SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion will exit the state of Florida completely as part of the portfolio reorganization announced Thursday, sources told SN.
As SN reported, the company is closing 113 Food Lion stores throughout its operating area, with almost half of those located in Florida and Georgia.
The 25 Florida locations are largely concentrated in the Jacksonville market.
"The surprise is that they decided to close them down rather than sell them," said Neil Stern, senior partner, McMillan Doolittle, Chicago. "In Florida, Publix and Wal-Mart are dominant, and ultimately there is going to be some more consolidation among the other players. Food Lion was one of them, Albertsons was one of them, and Winn-Dixie is a third player. Plus Delhaize still has Sweetbay — which is now a bit of an island down there.
"It's pretty unusual to see this kind of wholesale closure," he added. "Usually stores get sold or repurposed, or independents run them."
Food Lion was the No. 4 food retailer in Jacksonville with a share of about 7.7%, according to Metro Market Studies, Tucson, Ariz. Publix Super Markets (37.2%) was No. 1, Wal-Mart Stores (21.3%) was No. 2, and Winn-Dixie Stores (16.8%) was No. 3.
The reorganization will reduce the Delhaize's U.S. revenues by about $650 million but will improve the overall profitability of the chain¹s Brussels-based parent, Delhaize Group, the company said.
Delhaize will trim about 5,000 jobs as part of the reorganization.