A regular grocer's uphill struggle

Food Lion is stuck in the middle.

It’s tough being a conventional grocer these days. Just ask Food Lion.

The American chain is facing an uphill struggle as it deals with a raft of competition on the high end (Whole Foods, Publix, Harris Teeter) and low end (Walmart, Aldi).

Food Lion operates some 1,117 stores but in the last year it closed more than 100.

Grocery industry observers say Food Lion suffers the same problems as A&P and other longstanding conventional chains: unspectacular pricing, so-so products and moribund execution.

“I think they are going to fall in the trash can with all the other tired old banners that couldn’t figure it out,” David Livingston, a supermarket analyst told the Charlotte Observer.

But Food Lion’s new CEO, Beth Newlands, hopes to prove the skeptics wrong.

Newlands is plotting a back-to-basics approach that includes cleaner stores, helpful staff, better produce and convincing customers that Food Lion is a more convenient place to shop than the other guys.

Read the full story here.

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