What's In Store

One of Charlotte’s most popular grocers opens its newest store this week

Grocery wars are intense in Charlotte

The grocery wars started with Harris Teeter and Publix. It has gotten more competitive in recent years.
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The grocery wars started with Harris Teeter and Publix. It has gotten more competitive in recent years.

Food Lion is opening its latest Charlotte-area store Wednesday in Monroe.

The newly constructed, 36,000-square-foot store is at 250 N. M.L.K. Jr. Blvd., roughly 30 miles southeast of uptown Charlotte. This store replaces an older Food Lion about a mile away at 1678 W. Franklin St., in Monroe, which closes Tuesday, the Salisbury-based grocer said Monday.

The new Food Lion will have an array of popular features and sections, including a new “garden cooler” to keep fruits and vegetables fresher for longer, to-go meals, house-made sushi and an expanded beauty and wellness area, the grocer said in a statement.

The new store will also have a Food Lion To-Go service, which lets shoppers order groceries online and pick them up at a scheduled time in a designated spot in the parking lot.

“We wanted to offer (an) expanded product (selection) to customers,” spokesman Benny Smith said in an email. “It’s a growing area.”

Food Lion’s logo on one of its stores in Salisbury, where the grocery chain has its corporate offices. John D. Simmons jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

The new store will operate daily from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

The supermarket opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, the grocery chain said. The first 100 customers in line will receive a free reusable shopping bag and a gift card valued up to $200.

Food Lion is the No. 3 grocer in the Charlotte area by market share, according to Chain Store Guide, a sales-tracking firm. A few years ago, Food Lion spent millions to renovate its 142 stores across the Charlotte region. The grocer operates three other stores in Monroe.

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As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.