Earlier this year, we brought you news of a grocery store crisis in Dunn, North Carolina involving Salisbury, NC based Food Lion. Dunn, which is located about halfway between Raleigh & Fayetteville along the I-95 corridor, is home to 2 Food Lion locations. One savvy shopper from Dunn, Deborah, notified us of stock shortages and other problems with the Food Lion stores in her area. We promptly reached out to Food Lion in November 2014, but we never received a response.
So we went to the top. In April, we contacted Delhaize, the Belgium based company that owns Food Lion. (In late June, Delhaize and European grocer Ahold agreed to merge.) Then, just a few weeks ago, we received a response from Erin DeWaters, the Manager of Media & Community Relations of the Mid-Atlantic and Central Divisions with information from Food Lion regarding the crisis. You can read her response below.
“At Food Lion, we want our customers to know that they can count on us every day for a great shopping experience, including quality, fresh items and the low prices they expect from Food Lion. We regret that we did not meet this customer’s needs and expectations in Dunn.
Food Lion is currently remodeling all of its stores in the greater Raleigh, N.C., market, including our Dunn location. Not only will the remodels bring customers an easier, faster shopping experience, but we are also adding thousands of new items, based on customer feedback, including a Taste of Inspirations premium deli line, a wide variety of grab and go items and a dedicated Gluten Free section. Additionally, all of Food Lion’s 63,000 associates, including those in Dunn, have recently been provided with new customer-centric training to help bring customers a great shopping experience they can count on every day, and this training is ongoing. Those are just a few of the things that we’re doing in Dunn, and all of our Raleigh market stores, to get better at Food Lion.
The Dunn remodel is expected to be completed in July 2015. For the convenience of our customers, the store will not close during the remodel, so customers may notice construction or changes. We ask that our customers pardon our dust, while we work to bring them an enhanced store and shopping experience. The movement of items within the store as a result of the remodel is likely contributing to the stock issues that the customer experienced. Our local market leadership in Dunn is working with the store to keep items as in stock as possible for our customers. Our goal is that our customers can always find the items that they need in our stores every time they shop.
We’ll continue to listen to this customer, and all of our customers, as we constantly work to improve our business and better serve our customers. We appreciate this issue being brought to our attention and the opportunity to respond to this customer. Should our customer be open to it, if he or she will kindly provide their name and phone number, our local Director of Operations would be happy to reach out personally to discuss the in-store experience the customer had at our Dunn location.”
Erin DeWaters also offered to “connect the customer with our local market leader to discuss the in-store experience. We always want to make it right if we don’t meet someone’s expectations.”
We passed all of this information on to Deborah, who says that she has “had to rely on Walmart for groceries.” For her, this incident is quite unsettling.
Of course, if there are any more developments in this investigation, we will be sure to pass them along to you.