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Food Lion is expanding its grocery pickup service to 50 more stores across five states, including three in Charleston and 10 others across South Carolina. File

Food Lion is lining up 50 new grocery pickup sites across the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, including its first three in the Charleston area and 10 more across South Carolina.

The supermarket chain is boosting grocery pickup also in its home base of North Carolina and in Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. Competing chains, including Walmart and Harris Teeter, offer similar services.

Food Lion rolled out its new convenience-driven option Monday. A customer's first pickup is free.

Shoppers using the "To-Go" service can order and pick up groceries in as little as an hour between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. seven days a week.

To use the service, customers can go to shop.foodlion.com and select the closest participating store based on their ZIP code. They then can add items to a virtual cart, select a day and hour window they want to pick up the order and proceed to checkout.

At the store, shoppers will park in a designated area, where store employees will deliver the items.

In the Charleston area, stores offering the service include: 2245-F Ashley Crossing in West Ashley, 650 College Park Road in Ladson and 2770 Maybank Highway on Johns Island.

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Other stores in South Carolina with the new pickup offering are in Blythewood, Camden, Columbia, Florence, Lancaster, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet and North Myrtle Beach.

The service already is available at dozens of other stores across the company's footprint, including 11 others in South Carolina. 

Food Lion is owned by Ahold Delhaize, a Belgian-Dutch company, and is based in Salisbury, N.C.

Earlier this year, the supermarket chain announced plans to invest $158 million to upgrade 92 of its stores, including 15 in the Lowcountry and 67 others throughout the Palmetto State.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.