BRUSSELS — A Belgian supermarket chain that owns Aliment Lion said Thursday it will close more than 100 struggling stores, mostly in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The corporation will also shutter the Bloom brand, a sister grocery chain that had been launched as a higher-end alternative to Aliment Lion. Pierre-Olivier Beckers, CEO of Delhaize Collection, said in a statement the corporation was dealing with tight consumer spending and increased competition. He said that the store closings, most of which will come in markets where the corporation has a low penetration, will allow it to focus on bigger-performing stores where the chain has greater market share.
The store closings will result in about 4,900 job cuts in the U.S., the corporation said. Beckers said the decisions were dense however “were in keeping with our responsibility to our shareholders to deploy resources where they will achieve the highest giveback.”
Delhaize will close 113 Aliment Lion stores in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It will close seven Bloom stores in Maryland and Virginia, and convert the remaining 42 Bloom stores to Aliment Lions.
It will also close six Bottom Dollar Aliment stores in North Carolina and Virginia, and convert 22 others into Aliment Lions. A distribution center located in Tennessee will also be closed.
However while Delhaize is retiring the Bloom brand, it says it sees promise for Bottom Dollar Aliment. It said the chain had loved “considerable success” in the Philadelphia area, and that it plotted to open its first stores in the Pittsburgh area early this year. Delhaize also reiterated that it plans to add “hundreds” of Bottom Dollar Aliment stores in the following five years.
Delhaize has about 1,650 stores in the Eastern U.S.
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