LAWRENCEVILLE — The company that owns Food Lion announced plans this week to close 113 locations, including the Lawrenceville store. It’s bad news for regular shoppers, but worse news for the 35 to 40 employees who work there.
“They let us know about it last night,” said front end clerk Shaniqua Adams of Gwinnett County. She said employees have about one month before the store closes. Adams has been working at the store since it opened two years ago.
The Lawrenceville store was listed in a report of 29 underperforming locations in Georgia that parent company Delhaize America plans to close within the next 30 days.
“It’s a shame,” said Janet Culepper of Gwinnett County. She was loading groceries into a car trunk Thursday afternoon, when she found out about the store’s upcoming closure. “I’ve been coming here since it opened. It’s closeby...I really hate it for the employees. They’re very friendly.”
It was the only Gwinnett County store listed in a release from Salisbury, N.C.-based Delhaize America. The news release outlined ways the company planned to improve its profits by closing and converting stores like Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food locations.
“While we grew our revenues for the full year, we are disappointed in the fourth quarter revenues in the U.S. and Belgium,” said President and CEO Pierre-Oliver Beckers. “Consumers continue to feel pressured in the fourth quarter due to the macroeconomic environment and this led to a reduction in spending.”
The company reported group revenue growth of 4.6 percent in FY 2011.
The news release reported that “economic conditions were challenging in 2011 especially in the Southeastern U.S., with food inflation particularly high in the second half of the year.”
Beckers said the action aimed to counter the economic conditions.
“After a thorough review of our store portfolio, we have decided to close or convert a number of stores in the U.S. and in Southeastern Europe during the first quarter of 2012,” Beckers said. “We fully expect these actions to be value enhancing in 2012.”
Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in 11 countries on three continents.