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History and Commercial Archaeology of Chain Supermarkets and Other Retailers

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 Post subject: Food Town to Food Lion
PostPosted: Fri 24 Feb 2006 10:12 pm 
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Does anyone know what the exact impetus was for Food Town to become Food Lion? There seems to have been a lot of Food Towns and Foodtowns around, and I wonder if there was one in particular that was pesky enough to cause the name change.

I'd once heard that it was a Virginia Foodtown that precipitated the name change, but I think that might be an urban myth.

Interestingly, perhaps, back in the 1960's, there was a split in the Ukrop's family here in Richmond, with one branch carrying on as Ukrop's and the other renaming their stores Foodtown. Again, perhaps in the myth category, I'd always heard the the split wasn't necessarily acrimonious or anything, but that the Foodtown branch wanted to sell beer and wine (Ukrop's still doesn't).


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PostPosted: Sat 25 Feb 2006 12:03 am 
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The way I've always heard it told was that Food Lion was entering new markets with new competition, and had to find a new operating name in their new territory, much like Martin's and Giant-PA are. They came up w/Food Lion somehow, it resonated well, and they all got converted to Food Lion.


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PostPosted: Sat 25 Feb 2006 9:35 pm 
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danielh_512 wrote:
The way I've always heard it told was that Food Lion was entering new markets with new competition, and had to find a new operating name in their new territory, much like Martin's and Giant-PA are. They came up w/Food Lion somehow, it resonated well, and they all got converted to Food Lion.


That's pretty much it. In their ads, they made much of the fact that they were saving customers money by choosing a name which only required replacing two letters on their signs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 27 Feb 2006 12:23 am 
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Also their Belgian parent - Delhaize - sells in Europe under the name "Le Lion" Their logo is the Food Lion logo


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PostPosted: Mon 27 Feb 2006 3:24 pm 
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Delhaize ownership came after the "lion". They use the Food Lion name in many places. They have stores in Bangkok, Thailand with that name and use a "discount" format. Some of their competitors there also are European, sometimes with US touches: Ahold (using the US-derived "Tops" name) and Tesco (operating as "Lotus"), and Carrefour. Ahold & tesco operate as joint ventures, although Tops has expanded beyond their original partners' stores (the Central Dept Store).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon 27 Feb 2006 3:43 pm 
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rich wrote:
Delhaize ownership came after the "lion".


Actually, Delhaize purchased a 34% interest in Food Town in 1974 and acquired a majority interest in 1976. The name change didn't happen until 1982-1983. In fact, the lion icon had been used in the Food Town house brand logo (and even on some store signs) for a couple of years prior to the name change.

Lest anyone wonder, I didn't just pull these facts off the top of my head. i was re-reading the company history ("Lion's Share") from 1991 yesterday.

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 Post subject: Food Town
PostPosted: Fri 09 Jun 2006 3:23 am 
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You have sort of answered the question I had. I was wondering what the Food Town logo was and came across a certificate which had the Food Lion logo except Town in place of Lion. That must have been during their transition period. Does anyone have photos of a pre-food lion Food Town store or have a clue as to what the logo looked like? I like to collect old grocery store memorabilia and have recently become interested in Food Town.


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