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SANTEE -- An upgraded and newly remodeled Food Lion is greeting shoppers in Santee.

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The store, located at 697 Bass Drive, marked completion of renovations with festivities and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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"I want to thank all the community around me in Santee, Eutawville, Vance and Elloree for shopping with us and supporting us over the years," Store Manager Tony Williams said. "This (remodel) is really for them."

Williams said the store underwent a complete remodeling to include new signage and groupings of products to make it easier to locate items faster.

Among the changes customers will see:

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  • An expanded variety and assortment across all departments, such as more local produce in the “Local Goodness” section, an expanded variety of craft beer, limited reserve wines and more local, natural, organic and gluten-free items.
  • A greater selection of fresh produce and meat backed by Food Lion's double-your-money-back guarantee and a larger selection of Nature’s Promise beef, pork, poultry, milk, eggs, bottled water, cereal, coffee and other items.
  • Hand-battered chicken as well as a greater selection of complete meals for families and a wider variety of grab-and-go items and presliced deli meats and cheeses.
  • A more efficient checkout process.

The store remained open during the remodeling process, which began at the end of February. Remodeling was primarily done after business hours.

During the remodeling, the store also hired about 30 individuals, bringing the total store employment to 75, Williams said.

Santee has the only Food Lion store in The T&D Region.

Food Lion has a major presence in Orangeburg County in the form of a distribution center in Elloree. According to the Orangeburg County Development Commission website, the facility employs 498.

 As part of the grand reopening celebration in Santee, the first 100 customers received a Food Lion reusable grocery bag, a Food Lion apron and a $10 gift card.

One shopper also got a $250 card.

Later in the day, the store gave out another round of $10 gift cards to the first 100 customers.

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The upgrades to the Santee store are part of a company-wide $158 million investment in 92 stores across the state. Food Lion now has remodeled 80% of its network of more than 1,000 stores across its 10-state operating area.

The upgrades included adding 2,000 jobs.

“Food Lion has nourished our neighbors in the greater South Carolina community for 43 years, and we're excited to bring these improvements to our 92 local stores," Meg Ham, president of Food Lion, said in a press release. "We've created a new grocery shopping experience through the significant investments in our stores, associates and communities."

"From our expanded variety and product assortment, newly reorganized stores, to a more efficient checkout experience, every change we’ve made will make it easier for our customers to find the quality products they have come to expect from Food Lion," Ham said. "When coupled with our weekly sales and promotions, customers will see that we have made it easier for them to nourish their families with healthy foods on a budget.”

Food Lion was founded in 1957 as Food Town in Salisbury, North Carolina. The company has since grown to more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. The company employs more than 63,000.

Food Lion is a company of Ahold Delhaize USA, the U.S. division of Zaandam-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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