Food Lion stores in Lewes, Rehoboth, Long Neck and Millville are being sold to Pennsylvania-based grocer Weis Markets.
The sale is the result of a merger between Delhaize Group, parent company of Food Lion, and Ahold, parent company of Giant. It was announced July 13 that they have reached agreements with buyers to sell 86 stores in the Mid-Atlantic where the companies both operate. Only four Delaware stores are impacted by the merger. These divestments are being made in connection with the United States Federal Trade Commission’s pending review of the proposed merger between the two companies. The divested stores are being sold to well-established supermarket operators.
Weis expects to complete the conversion process for the majority of the stores in September and October and is interested in hiring current Food Lion store teams for the purchased locations.
“This transaction provides us the opportunity to expand into markets that are contiguous to our current trade area, particularly in Maryland where we are adding 21 stores, essentially doubling our store count in a state where we have steadily grown in recent years,” said Weis Markets Chairman, President and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We’re also looking forward to expanding our operations into two adjacent states with the addition of 13 stores in Virginia and four in Delaware.”
Founded in 1912, Weis Markets is a Mid-Atlantic food retailer operating 162 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.
All of the purchase agreements are subject to FTC approval. The agreements are also subject to FTC clearance and formal completion of the Delhaize Group and Ahold merger, which the companies continue to expect before the end of July.
These store locations represent 4.1 percent of the Ahold and Delhaize Group companies’ total combined U.S. store count and 3.2 percent of combined U.S. 2015 net sales.
"Selling stores is a difficult part of any merger process, given the impact on our associates, customers and communities in which we operate," said Frans Muller, president and CEO of Delhaize Group. "We believe we have made every effort to identify strong buyers for these locations, and we want to thank our loyal associates and customers who have shopped our stores and supported us for so many years. Upon the completion of the merger, we will continue to maintain our local Food Lion and Hannaford brands; however, our new company scale will enable us to accelerate our local market strategies to better serve our customers with nearly 2,000 stores along the East Coast in the United States."