Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Josue Canales, left, grocery manager at Food Lion, and Jimmy Whitehead stock shelves at the location off Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road in Lawrenceville on Monday in preparation for Wednesday's grand opening.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Employees of the new Food Lion store in Lawrenceville stocked shelves Monday in preparation for the supermarket's grand opening this week.
The grocery store at 1404 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road is scheduled to open Wednesday morning with an 8 a.m. ribbon cutting ceremony. The store's typical operating hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. will begin Thursday.
"We are dedicated to being Lawrenceville's neighborhood grocery store," said Wayne Fuller, manager of the 52,000-square-foot facility. "Food Lion is committed to offering quality products at great prices and providing an outstanding shopping experience to our customers."
The first 300 customers to enter the store Wednesday will receive a free Food Lion reusable bag filled with private label products. Customers who visit the store that day will also be able to register for a shopping spree in which the winner will have 98 seconds to complete a trip around the store.
The supermarket will employ about 80 people, with 65 positions created for the new store, according to a news release.
The Food Lion store contains a fresh produce department and a deli/bakery with in-store decorated cakes, specialty meats, cheeses and breads, as well as a meat department featuring Butcher's Brand Premium Beef and fresh pork, poultry and seafood.
The store has expanded sections for natural and organic food, ethnic food and wine and will offer pharmacy services, Western Union services, Rug Doctor rentals and Blue Rhino propane exchange. The store also has an ATM and Coinstar machine. The pharmacy will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Founded in 1957 as Food Town in Salisbury, N.C., Food Lion is one of the largest supermarket chains in the United States, operating 1,300 supermarkets, either directly or through affiliated entities, under the names of Food Lion, Bloom, Bottom Dollar, Harveys and Reid's.
Food Lion operates in 11 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states: Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. There are about 50 locations in Georgia, and the new Lawrenceville store is the only one in Gwinnett County, according to the Food Lion Web site.
The company regularly evaluates areas within its operation region to determine the best places for store growth, spokeswoman Jennifer Speck said.
"For competitive reasons, we can't elaborate on these details," said Speck, a corporate communications specialist. "However, we believe this location will be a convenient place for the residents of Lawrenceville and the surrounding area to get quality products at great prices."