Food Lion co-founder Ketner dies at age 95

A shopper heads into a Food Lion store in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The co-founder of the Food Lion grocery store chain has died.

Food Lion said in a statement that 95-year-old Ralph Ketner died Sunday.

Ketner successfully gambled that bigger sales by lowering prices to where profit margins were razor thin were the best path to success.

In 1957, he opened the Food Town grocery store in Salisbury, North Carolina, with 125 investors putting up $50 or $100. The grocery store grew into the Food Lion chain with more than 1,100 stores across the Southeast. The original investment grew to more than $1 million for those small investors.

Food Lion said Ketner will be remembered as much for his charity work as his impact on the grocery industry.

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