Four Food Lion supermarkets in Sussex County, including one in Millville and one in Millsboro, have been purchased by Pennsylvania-based Weis Markets.
The grocery chain has purchased 38 Food Lion stores in in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, according to an announcement by the company on Thursday, July 14. It is the largest acquisition in the company’s history. Of the 38 stores being purchased, 21 are in Maryland; 13 are in Virginia.
“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.”
Weis Markets expects to complete the conversion process for the majority of the stores in September and October. The company has expressed interest in hiring current Food Lion store employees for the purchased locations.
“We look forward to interviewing and hiring team members who share our commitment to offering an industry-leading combination of value, quality and customer service,” Weis said.
Local Food Lion store management referred all questions about the purchase to corporate officials, who did not return phone calls to the Coastal Point by press time this week.
The acquisition comes on the heels of the merger of Food Lion’s parent company, Ahold, with the Delhaize Group, which owns Giant Food, and speculation about whether stores would be closed in areas where they are in direct competition with one another. In the case of the Giant and Food Lion stores in Millville, the two are directly across the street from each other.
With the recent acquisition of the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia stores, Weis markets increases its total number of stores chainwide to 203. The Delaware Food Lion stores that have been acquired by Weis are located at 17232 N. Village Main Boulevard, Lewes; 24832 John J. Williams Highway, Millsboro; 36731 Old Mill Road, Millville; and 19287 Miller Road, Rehoboth Beach.