Wednesday, October 22, 2014 · 12:44 a.m.
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Officials announced Wednesday that 25 Food Lion stores across the state—seven in the Chattanooga area—will be closing within 30 days. 

The company that operates Food Lion stores, Delhaize America, is closing 113 "under-performing" stores nationwide in an attempt to strengthen its U.S. portfolio, according to a news release. 

"Food Lion is focused on repositioning our business for future growth," Food Lion President Cathy Green Burns said in a prepared statement. "By closing under-performing stores, we will continue to position Food Lion for success, especially in light of our brand strategy results."

The closures in Chattanooga will affect locations on Browns Ferry Road, Highway 58, Wilcox Boulevard, Brainerd Road, East Brainerd Road and two on Hixson Pike. 

Chattanooga resident Millicent Hollingsworth said she shopped at the Brainerd Road and Wilcox Boulevard locations. 

"The Food Lion on Wilcox is definitely convenient and a neighborhood store," she said. "People would have to leave the area to shop."

A Cleveland store is also on the list of closures, as well as stores in Athens, Knoxville, Clarksville and Maryville, Tenn.

About 4,900 employees will lose their jobs, according to the news release. 

The plan also includes the closure of a Clinton, Tenn., distribution center. 

"While these were difficult decisions given the impact on our associates, customers and communities, we believe these actions will enable us to better serve our customers in our markets with high density, while positioning the company for future growth," Ron Hodge, CEO of Delhaize America, said in a prepared statement. 

After the closures, Food Lion will operate in 10 states and have 1,127 stores. 

For a complete list of closings, click here.

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