North Carolina-Ralph Ketner-June 1

North Carolina People, Places, and Things-June 1

I am the dad to five adult children. As they were growing up I attempted to remind them they were special and to implore them to learn something new. My goal was to do that daily.

In 2016 my goal is to learn something new daily on the people, places, and things that make North Carolina special.

If you live in North Carolina you know the grocery chain called Food Lion is part of our culture. I am willing to be most North Carolians have had a MVP card at some point in their life. The card depicted below could also be found on key chains and was good for discounts on various items each week. Food Lion was started in Salisbury, NC.


One of the co-founders of Food Lion Ralph Ketner died on Sunday at the age of 95. He is shown below.


In business, Ketner built a reputation as a genius with numbers. He bet the company on a low-pricing concept that eventually became known as LFPINC — Lowest Food Prices in North Carolina. It propelled the sleepy, Salisbury-based grocery chain and its stock to incredible growth and national prominence.

Ketner and his lieutenants also installed a system of forward and centralized buying, merchandising, store location, distribution, cost-cutting, training and employee incentives that complemented the chain’s pricing concept.

Within two decades, Food Town, which changed its name to Food Lion in 1983, became North Carolina’s largest publicly held retailer. By 1982, Forbes magazine had dubbed the company America’s fastest growing grocery chain. By 1990, Food Lion was among the Top 10 grocery chains in the United States.

Ralph Ketner retired in 1991 and served as Executive in Residence at Catawba College.



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