Food Lion will close more than a dozen Chattanooga area supermarkets next month as part of a plan announced today to shutter 126 Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar stores across the South.
The store closings include seven Food Lion locations in Chattanooga and Hixson, along with other store closings in Chatsworth, Fort Oglethorpe, Rossville and Trenton, Ga.
Delhaize America, the parent company of Food Lion, announced the store closings today along with the shut down of a distribution center in Clinton, Tenn.
"We are disappointed in the fourth-quarter revenues in the U.S. and Belgium," Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Olivier Beckers said in the statement. "Consumers continued to feel pressured in the fourth quarter due to the macro-economic environment and this led to a reduction in spending. We also encountered an increase in competitive activity."
Food Lion will continue to operate in 10 states and have 1,127 stores.
"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."
All affected stores will close within 30 days, the company said.
Food Lion said the closings will cut about 4,900 jobs. The company said it will provide severance to eligible associates, and will work with government officials to assist with transition support.