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November 29th, 2006

Bloom

Locally, a number of bottom-of-the-supermarket-food-chain Food Lion stores were transformed into Blooms. Bloom is owned by Food Lion, LLC, so I assume it’s pretty much just an attempt to build an “upper class” Food Lion. Bloom’s motto is “A different kind of grocery store.”

After shopping there a few times, I’m still trying to figure out how it’s different from any average food store.

Yes, they’re open 24 hours, but they’re not the first ones to do that. They have “20 minute or less” parking close to the store, but that’s kind of silly because it’s people with more groceries that need to be closer. They have some weird label scanner thing that nobody uses and they don’t promote the use of very well. And on their site’s FAQ, the following question exists: “Why do Bloom associates gather in the store during operational hours for cheers and chants?” I’ve never seen that happen and the employees look dejected as any other aisle stockers I’ve seen elsewhere.

Speaking of their site, it looks more like it belongs to Target than a grocery store and has at least one glaring error of punctuation (“Calling all grocery guru’s!”).

So, there are some minor differences compared to, say, Safeway, but really, the selection is only mediocre (Giant has a better natural foods selection), the prices are slightly higher than most, and the “babbling brook” audio that’s playing on loop in the produce section makes me want to pee.

Bleh to Bloom.

Posted in Consumer Commentary, Food and Beverage

Paul November 29, 2006, 2:50 pm

Undoubtedly there’s some press release out there with language on how Bloom is a “response to consumers’ needs”, “builds on the brand equity of Food Lion”, and offers an “exciting” environment.

Looks like the same-old same-old to me. I don’t need grocery shopping to be an experience; I need it to be grocery shopping.

Greg November 29, 2006, 4:27 pm

Wide isles and abundant open checkout lines is all I want. All the other stuff, I could care less about. How does singing and cheering by the employees help me find which isle the marshmallow fluff is in?

aanen November 29, 2006, 4:44 pm

At least it’s not weis!

jk November 29, 2006, 5:05 pm

Sounds like they can’t hold a candle to Wegman’s.

Paul November 29, 2006, 5:07 pm

“All the other stuff, I could care less about.”

Then care less about them. 😉

Dave November 29, 2006, 6:40 pm

Personally I like to shop at WEGMANS. There are two closse to me in NJ and one where my sister lives in VA. Great selection and nice layout for a store…

COD November 29, 2006, 7:16 pm

Food Lion split into two brands – Bottom Dollar and Bloom. Bloom is more upscale – hardwood floors, nicer lighting, more diverse selection, higher prices. Bottom Dollar is bare bones – no self-checkout, obnoxious orange color scheme, and they charge you for every grocery sack you use. We have one of each nearby.

Our Food Lion became a Bloom. It is much nicer inside, and they have an organic section now, which is new. Honestly, it looks a lot like a Ukrops inside now, except that you can buy beer at Bloom. I don’t – the selection sucks.

Ryan November 29, 2006, 7:28 pm

I saw a Bottom Dollar in VA Beach and it looked like an even lower-scale Food Lion from the outside.

Interestingly, the other Food Lion in your former hometown is still a Food Lion.

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