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Food Lion leaning on fresh for image revamp

The new chief executive officer of Food Lion has a plan to turn the chain around, and fresh produce is part of that plan.

Beth Newlands Campbell, who was named CEO of the Salisbury, NC-based retailer following the departure of Cathy Green Burns, told the Charlotte Observer, that clean stores, fresh produce, helpful associates and consistency from store-to-store are all key elements in her plan to better compete in the cutthroat world of supermarket retailing.

"We just have to get better, and we have to do it every day," Newlands Campbell said in the interview with the Observer. "This is about fixing Food Lion by being a better Food Lion."

Food Lion, which has 1,117 stores, has been updating its stores for the past two years, including new fixtures in the produce department. It has also invested in a new, fresh produce initiative that better manages the cold chain in order to offer customers the freshest possible perishables foods.

Newlands Campbell previously worked for Hannaford, which, like Food Lion, is a subsidiary of Delhaize. She rose through the ranks, starting as a clerk and bagger before being named assistant store manager. In 2009, she was selected to head the 181-store supermarket chain.