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Food Lion cuts 16 positions at Pa. warehouse

January 15, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Food Lion LLC, which will close 41 of its 1,241 grocery stores, has laid off 16 employees in its warehouse in Greencastle, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

None of the 41 stores targeted for closure are in the Tri-State area, said Jeff Lowrance, corporate communications manager at Food Lion's corporate offices in Salisbury, N.C. The stores will be closed by the end of the month.

Closings will cost the jobs of 1,500 full- and part-time workers in 10 states, about 100 workers in the company's seven distribution centers, including the 16 in Greencastle. Approximately 400 store support personnel, including positions in its corporate office, distribution centers, transportation and field management, will also lose their jobs, Lowrance said.

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"A significant percentage of the affected store workers will be offered jobs in other stores," he said. "It's part of Food Lion's effort to streamline operations and reduce costs."

Darren Hayes, warehouse manager for the distribution center in Greencastle, said the facility opened in 1991. A distribution hub, it serves company stores in a 250-mile radius.

The warehouse, until last Friday's layoffs, had about 635 employees, Hayes said.

The company has 24 stores in the Tri-State area including seven in Washington County, six in Frederick County, six in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle and five in Franklin County.

The nearest stores to Franklin County to be closed are in Carlisle, Littlestown and McSherrystown in Pennsylvania. A store in Oxon Hill, Md., and one in Buckhannon, W.Va., are on the list to be closed.

"These stores are not generating sufficient revenue to cover operational expenses. It is not financially responsible to keep them open," Rick Anicetti, president and CEO of Food Lion, said in a press release.

Closing unprofitable stores is just one aspect of what the company calls "an investment reallocation initiative."

Food Lion plans to open 45 new stores this year, Lowrance said. The locations have not been released, he said.

Food Lion, which was founded in 1957 in North Carolina, has stores as far north as southern Pennsylvania, south to Florida and as far west as Nashville, Tenn, Lowrance said.

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