Friday, March 08, 2019

TOUR: Food Lion - Lexington, VA

We're heading just up the street from yesterday's Kroger to Lexington's second major supermarket, this one a Food Lion.
Food Lion, which is just east on 60 from Kroger, seemed to me to be slightly larger than Kroger, although that's likely because the store has fewer features and service departments. There's more space overall in Food Lion, although the store has less to offer.
Food Lion is certainly more imposing than Kroger. You enter and exit on either side of this foyer, with the produce department in the front right corner. Meat lines the back wall with dairy and frozen on the far side of the store. Deli/bakery is in the front corner opposite produce. It's a pretty standard Food Lion layout.
As we'll see, it's been a while since this Food Lion was renovated. Let's head in towards produce...
The front wall is to the right above.
My photos came from a visit in March of 2018. Since then, the store has actually been renovated with Food Lion's newest decor package, which I consider quite unattractive (but an improvement, at least on the inside). Check out the new produce department, which seems to have had a new room built in it, and the exterior with a newly unreadable sign here. (Tiny? Check. Badly colored? Check.)
Not sure I understand the random stripes on the walls here.
Here we're looking towards the front wall of the store. I visited in the evening, which is why you won't see any customers. An employee was cleaning the produce cases with a Shop Vac, which explains the power cord you can see in the past few pictures.
Food Lion's laughably bad international section continues down the first aisle. How about that aisle marker? Does anyone know when this decor package is from?
Now, which one is better -- Extra Low Prices or Low Low Prices?
Meat department along the back wall.
Uh, what exactly is "glass juice"?
Aisle four is a double-wide aisle with plenty of junk, I mean sale merchandise, in the middle.
Here you can also see the entrance and the beginning of the produce department.
Meat area along the back wall. There is no service butcher or seafood counter, although you can place a custom order through the windows to the right (of course, when the butcher is open).
I don't love the new decor, but this previous decor is pretty awful. Plus, it doesn't even really make sense -- look at the lower sign. Fresh Beef & Pork - Poultry? Who talks like that? And do you need that sign with the "Beef - Pork - Poultry" on the Fresh Meats sign?
I've never been a fan of the single aisle marker in the middle of the aisle, either. Makes it very hard to read from either end of the store.
HABA looks to be more recently updated. This Food Lion does not have a pharmacy.
I wonder if these were like the ACME signs, where the middle portions would be changed out periodically but have now just been replaced with generic graphics.
It doesn't look like cheap decor, either, what with all the random 3-D touches that they felt were necessary!
Looking along the back wall towards the first aisle. You can see the store isn't too large here, probably about 25,000-30,000 square feet, but it feels more spacious than the Kroger which is probably about 10,000 square feet larger.
Nonfoods aisle at the far end of the store.
I'm not entirely sure of the layout here, but this is what I think we're looking at: frozen foods take up the last part of the back wall (opposite produce, visible to the left here). Then the last aisles are as follows:

  • 14, side closer to produce and first aisle: frozen
  • 14 opposite: frozen
  • 15 produce side: frozen
  • 15 opposite: dairy
  • 16 produce side: dairy
  • 16 opposite (side wall): frozen
This crazy arrangement could not have been how the store was built, right? Too confusing!
Frozen on both sides of 14.
15 is both frozen and dairy. All these cases are quite old.
I can't say I've ever seen eggs displayed like this except in a discount store...
Not the most attractive presentation.
Ice cream on the side wall of the store, in 16. Dairy faces...
Yikes. In a shot like this, you can really see how outdated the store is (was).
Very small bakery in the front corner with deli next to it along the front wall. The picture in the aisle marker looks to be newer than the aisle marker itself, possibly from the Easy Fresh Affordable campaign.
Okay, Utz products are made about 50 miles south of Lexington, but still in Virginia. I don't know that they qualify as "local goodness" though! I can buy them up here in Worcester, MA... Still a nice touch, and other products on this display, at the front of aisle 16, were more local.
I'm not sure what happened to the colors in this picture of the bakery case. There is no sign for the bakery, just a "Deli Bakery" sign to the left...
The problem with this decor package for me is its lack of signage. There's certainly enough junk up on the walls, but it doesn't do a good job actually directing people to what they're looking for!
Some downsizing here in the deli...
It's generally not a good sign when the service departments are cut back.
Does anyone actually need this Delicatessen sign here? Why couldn't they have put it over the deli, and changed the "Deli Bakery" sign to just "Bakery" over the bakery? Is it that hard?!?!?!? (Ahem. Returning to impartial journalistic tone.) The customer service counter was previously tucked away in the corner here along the front wall, although it doesn't appear that it's in use anymore. The counter has been moved to an island in the middle of the front-end.
Yep, you know a store is deserted when you can get a good straight-on shot of customer service without being noticed!
Here's a look along the front-end from the entrance/produce side.
The decor calms down a little bit for the "Thank You" wall.
Well, at least the store is clean and bright.
More Extra Low Prices visible to the left!
I suppose I should reserve judgment on the new decor until I actually see it in person. I was never a fan of Supervalu's PF&H v3.0 until I just recently visited a store with it. It was so much more attractive in person than in pictures. Of course, it works in the other direction too -- I don't know that this store was quite so hideous as these pictures make it out to look!

Heading out east to the next town on US-60 for a few stores in Buena Vista, VA beginning tomorrow!


Food Lion

84 E Midland Trl, Lexington, VA
Open Daily 7AM-10PM
www.foodlion.com
(540) 464-5026
My Rating: 

2 comments:

  1. Well, I have to say that the new remodeled decor that the store got last year is just plain HIDEOUS! Now they are rolling it out to the Charlottesville, VA and South Carolina markets, and it is God awful. The old decor that the store had prior to the remodel, was the Millennium package that was rolled out around 1999-2000 and was phased out in 2003 in favor of the "Round Format" package. But still, I really think they should have resurrected the Raleigh/Charlotte/Triad Wave package, and ditch the hideous Ahold package.

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    Replies
    1. I generally agree. That new decor is pretty awful.

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