Wednesday, February 22, 2006

tale of two (food) cities

Food City opened a new store near me today. Naturally I had to stop by and check it out. The location is a former Bi-Lo that had been vacant for months. Last week, Food City made a deal to buy the rest of Bi-Lo's Knoxville stores from the company that is buying them from Bi-Lo. The complex transaction got major coverage in the newspaper and on TV.

The Food City shopping go-cart buggy thing was out front.
However, the most impressive sight was the giant cow face-off in the parking lot. The Mayfield cow was staring down the Flav-O-Rich cow. For some reason, the Flav-O-Rich sign was covered by a different banner.

If you look closely, you can see a sign in the distance behind the Mayfield cow. It lists some of the merchants on Peters Road and used to read "JoAnn Staples Dick's" until somebody wised up and removed the sign for Dick's Sporting Goods.

It's impossible to avoid staring at the fiberglass bovines and their massive udders:

Free samples of various products were available inside. The one thing I had never seen before was the portable Krispy Kreme dipping station.

Just on the other side of I-40 from the new supermarket is an old Food City store, which is where I saw the cake decorator who looks like Scarlett Johansson.
A sign posted on the sliding glass door at the old store says it will remain open for business. (Note to anyone who works there: as soon as a customer gets close enough to read the sign, the door and the sign automatically slide away.) The older Food City stores seem ancient compared to the fancy new ones. If you didn't read the signs, you might not know the stores were owned by the same company.
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