Seven Food Lion stores in Kentucky to close

Delhaize Group SA, the owner of Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food supermarkets, plans to cut about 5,000 positions and expects a 2.4 percent drop in revenue as it closes stores in Europe and the United States, including seven in Kentucky.

Food Lion stores in Danville, Stanford, Dry Ridge, Paris, Cynthiana, Radcliff and Morehead are among those to be shuttered, Food Lion said on its Web site. The stores will be closed within 30 days, Food Lion said. The company also is closing a distribution center in Clinton, Tenn.

Costs related to the closings will hurt earnings by about $261 million, starting in the first quarter, the company, based in Brussels, Belgium, said in a statement Thursday. Closing 146 stores and converting 64 others will cut the number of shops by about 4.3 percent and initially lower revenue by about 2.4 percent, Delhaize said.

"We are disappointed in the fourth-quarter revenues in the U.S. and Belgium," chief executive Pierre-Olivier Beckers said in the statement. "Consumers continued to feel pressured in the fourth quarter due to the macro-economic environment, and this led to a reduction in spending. We also encountered an increase in competitive activity."

The food retailer will close 113 Food Lion, seven Bloom and six Bottom Dollar Food locations in the United States, it said. The remaining 42 Bloom shops and 22 Bottom Dollar Food stores will be turned into Food Lion outlets. Twenty stores in southeastern Europe will be closed.

Delhaize ended 2011 with 3,408 stores, according to the statement.

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