Careers at Food Lion

MISSION

Food Lion LLC (“Food Lion”) seeks to offer an enjoyable shopping experience to consumers across the US, and to provide a full range of grocery products that meets the needs of its customers.

FOUNDING STORY

Food Lion was founded in 1957 by Wilson Smith, Ralph Ketner, and Brown Ketner in Salisbury, North Carolina.  The Company initially operated under the name Food Town. 

The Company was notably acquired in 1974 by Belgium-based Delhaize Group, which in 2015 merged with Ahold to form Ahold Delhaize.

Food Lion has expanded its operations significantly under the guidance of these parent companies to become a prominent grocery store operator.

The Food Lion name was adopted by the Company in 1983, after its expansion brought into contact with other similarly named businesses in Virginia. 

The lion of the Delhaize logo had already been incorporated into Food Lion’s branding, and the name change required only minimal alterations to the Company’s signage. 

Throughout the 1980s, Food Lion expanded its network into the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US, notably entering markets in the Carolinas, the Virginias, Georgia, and Maryland. 

This growth continued into the 1990s, with the Company opening stores in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

At this time the chain was among the fastest growing the UDS, opening around 100 stores each year.    

Food Lion is a prominent operator of grocery stores in the US.  It currently operates a domestic network of more than 1,000 stores in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic US, employing more than 63,000 workers and serving in excess of 10 million customers per week. 

The Company remains a unit of Ahold Delhaize, which itself operates a network of more than 6,700 stores around the world, including the Food Lion outlets. 

Business model of Food Lion

Customer Segments

Food Lion serves a large customers base in its operating markets across the US. 

The Company serves members of the general consumer population that typically fall into one or more the following customers segments:

  • Urban Consumers, comprising consumers who reside in or close to metropolitan areas and appreciate the convenience of the Company’s locations and accessibility;
  • Lower Income Consumers, comprising consumers from lower income households, who are able to take advantage of the Company’s affordable prices; and
  • Health Conscious Consumers, comprising consumers who are concerned with purchasing fresh and health produce.

Food Lions’ target customers are based on its “Easy, Fresh, and Affordable” program, through which it seeks to provide produce that is fresh, easily accessible, and affordable. 

The program has been rolled out across the bulk of the Company’s stores.

Food Lion is headquartered in the US.  It primarily serves customers through its outlets across the Mi-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the US.

Value Propositions

Food Lion provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Brand Name and Reputation – Food Lion has a positive reputation that dates back to the chain’s foundation in 1957, the Company having established itself as a reliable and effective provider of good quality products and an enjoyable shopping experience;
  • Affordability – Food Lion seeks to provides products to customers at affordable prices, ensuring that its produce and products are accessible to customers across multiple financial demographics;
  • Convenience and Accessibility – Food Lion situates its retail outlets in locations in or close to highly populated metropolitan areas, ensuring that its stores can be reached easily by members of its target consumer demographics;
  • Fresh Produce – Food Lion aims to differentiate itself from competitors by offering fresh produce from local or regional growers, making it a popular choice among those who wish to support local commerce; and
  • Sales Reach – Food Lion operates a large network of retail outlets, comprising around 1,000 stores spread across markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US, ensuring that it is able to reach as broad a customer base as possible.

Channels

Food Lion primarily serves its customers through its network of retail outlets across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern US. 

The Company currently operates around 1,000 stores across the US, all of which are staffed by the Company’s dedicated sales personnel, who are able to provide in-person service to customers directly, handling complaints and offering assistance.

In addition to its retail outlets, Food Lion offers online grocery delivery and ordering services in certain markets through a partnership with InstaCart.  The Company online and offline sales operations are supported by its  distribution infrastructure.

Customer Relationships

Food Lion provides services directly to its customers through its retail outlets. 

Its in-store sales personnel interact personally with customers to assist in their shopping experience, responding to queries, handling complaints, and providing guidance. 

The Company seeks to establish lasting relationships with its customers through this high quality services, as well as through its various deals, discounts, and special offers

Food Lion operates a website at www.foodlion.com, through which it provides customers with information on its various store locations, its products, its suppliers, and its departments on a self-service basis. 

The Company additionally provides a range of recipes and meal preparation tips through its website.

Food Lion is also able to communicate directly with customers through its various social media accounts, including with  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube, through which it is additionally able to address customer concerns.

Key Activities

Food Lion is an operator of grocery stores.  It controls a network of grocery store outlets across the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic US. 

The Company’s network currently stands at around 1,000 outlets. 

Food Lion offers a wide range of products across its stores, including fresh produce, meats, deli products, seafood, groceries, beers and beverages, bakery products, dairy products, frozen products, products for pets, baby products, household products, health and beauty products, gift cards, and pharmaceutical products. 

Food Lion previously operated under the name Food Town.  The Company is headquartered in the US and operates as a subsidiary of Delhaize America, itself a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize.

Key Partners

Food Lion works closely with a wide range of partner companies and organisations that support its retail operations. 

These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of fresh produce, grocery products, and other merchandise that is sold across the Company’s network of stores, as well as third party providers of services that support the Company’s corporate activities more broadly;
  • Distribution and Logistics Partners, comprising third party distribution and logistics companies that support the Company’s distribution operations, ensuring that its stores are served efficiently and reliably;
  • Service and System Partners, comprising commercial enterprises that offers services or systems in partnership with Food Lion or in support of the Company’s own operations, including technology companies that support the Company’s online services;
  • Community and Social Partners, comprising various non-profits and charitable organisations with which the Company collaborates on social and community projects across the Company’s key markets in the US; and
  • Strategic Partners, comprising commercial enterprises and organisations with which the Company collaborates on other strategic business development, branding, or other projects.

Food Lion has a number of partnership in place.  In recent years it has notably launched partnerships with InstaCart, and strengthened its community partnerships with Feeding America and FeedMore.

Key Resources

Food Lion’s business model depends on its ability to provide consumers with high quality products efficiently and reliably. 

As such, the Company’s key resources are its brand name and intellectual properties, its network of physical retail outlets, its suppliers and supply chain, its distribution infrastructure, its IT infrastructure – including its online store partnership with InstaCart, and its personnel.  The Company notably operates around 1,000 physical retail outlets across the US that are essential to the success of its operations.   

Cost Structure

Food Lion incurs costs in relation to the procurement of grocery supplies and produce, the procurement of third-party services, the operation of its network of stores – including occupancy and utility costs, the management of its partnerships, the payment of salaries and benefits to its employees, the operation and maintenance of its distribution infrastructure, and the maintenance and development of its IT and communications infrastructure, and the implementation of marketing advertising campaigns.

Food Lion operates as a unit of Ahold Delhaize and does not publish its own financial results.  In 2018, however, Ahold Delhaize recorded total operating expenses in the amount of EUR 14.56 billion, and cost of sales for the year totaling EUR 45.84 billion.

Revenue Streams

Food Lion generates revenue through the operation of a network of grocery store outlets in the US.

The Company principally derives its revenue in the form of sales fees collected directly from customers at its retail outlets, as well as via its online ordering service. 

As noted above, Food Lion is a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize and does not publish its own financial figures. 

In 2018, its parent company generated annual net sales of EUR 62.79 billion, down marginally on the EUR 62.89 billion recorded by the company in 2017.

Our team

Frans Muller,
President and Chief Executive Officer

info: Frans Muller (“Muller”) has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Food Lion’s parent company Ahold Delhaize since July 2018. He is responsible for leading the direction of the company’s overall business and growth strategies. Muller first joined Ahold Delhaize in 2013. Prior to assuming his current role he was the company’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Integration Officer. From 1988 to 1997, Muller held various management and executive positions at KLM Cargo in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Vienna and Singapore. He went onto serve for more than 15 years in management positions at German retailer Metro AG before joining Delhaize Group. This included spells as Managing Director of Makro, member of the board of Metro Cash and Carry International, President for Asia Pacific and Russia/Ukraine, and Chief Executive Officer of Metro Group Buying.

Kevin Holt,
Chief Executive Officer of Ahold Delhaize USA

info: Kevin Holt (“Holt”) has served as Chief Executive Officer Ahold Delhaize USA since January 2018. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the company’s strategic growth in the US, this notably includes the activities of Food Lion, which controls an extensive network in the US. He first joined the company in 2014 as Executive Vice President of Delhaize Group and CEO of Delhaize America, following which he served as Chief Operating Officer Ahold USA. Before joining the retail industry, Holt worked for nine years at NCR delivering technology solutions to large and complex organizations. He went on to serve in various senior leadership positions at Meijer over 14 years, following which he was employed by Sears Holding Company for three years as an executive. Before joining Ahold Delhaize, Holt served as President of Retail Operations at SuperValu.

Jeff Carr,
Chief Financial Officer

info: Jeff Carr (“Carr”) has served as Chief Financial Officer at Ahold Delhaize since July 2016. He is responsible for overseeing all of the company’s financial management operations, including its corporate tax, accounting, investor relations, and internal audit units. Carr first joined Ahold Delhaize in 2011 as acting member of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer. Carr began his career at Unilever, following which he held a number of senior roles in finance at Grand Metropolitan PLC, Reckitt Benckiser, and Associated British Foods. From 2005 to 2009, he was Group Finance Director and a member of the board at EasyJet plc. Prior to joining Ahold Delhaize, Carr served as Group Finance Director and a member of the board at FirstGroup PLC.

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