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Food Lion closing, rebranding area Bloom stores

Thursday - 1/12/2012, 2:50pm  ET

Food Lion LLC will close 126 stores and retire its Bloom banner — moves that effect nearly two dozen Washington-area stores.

Food Lion owner Delhaize America said about 4,900 employees will lose their jobs as part of the store closings.

The grocer is closing 113 underperforming Food Lion locations and seven underperforming Bloom locations. All of the Bloom stores that will close are in the Virginia and Maryland area including stores in Walkersville, Md., Annandale, Ashburn, Fairfax, Herndon, Woodbridge and on Fort Evans Road in Leesburg.

The Leesburg Bloom on King Street will be converted into a Food Lion store, as will Bloom locations in Rockville, Chantilly, Dumfries, Fairfax, Haymarket, Herndon, Lorton, Purcellville, Sterling, Woodbridge and three locations in Manassas.

Stores in Florida and North Carolina are also affected by closings and rebrandings.

“While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, we believe these actions will enable us to better serve our customers in our markets with high density while positioning the company for future growth," the company said.

All stores that are being closed will shut down within 30 days. The company said store conversations at those being rebranded as Food Lion locations will begin immediately.

Food Lion began converting its supermarkets in Maryland and Northern Virginia to the chain’s Bloom brand in 2007. It launched the Bloom concept in 2004 in North Carolina.