Belle Foods, Food World Stores File Bankruptcy
July 2, 2013
Belle Foods, operator of six grocery stores in Pensacola, Atmore and Brewton under the Belle Foods and Food World names, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.
The chain has a total of 57 stores and over 2,800 employees, has debts of $10 to $50 million and assets within the same range, according to court documents.
““Additionally, higher payroll taxes in 2013 have led to a decline in purchases by the (Belle’s) customer base,” the court filing said. “Furthermore, (Belle) has also seen an increased amount of competition in several of its markets from other grocers. With older locations, Debtor has had difficulty competing with the newer grocery stores that have moved into its markets.”
Belle operates stores under the Belle Foods, Piggly Wiggly and Food World names in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. Most of the stores were purchases from Southern Family Markets in June 2012. Southern Family took control of numerous Food World and Bruno’s stores after a Birmingham grocer filed for bankruptcy.
The Food World in Atmore and the Piggly Wiggly in Brewton were rebranded as Belle Foods in January.
Editor’s note: The Piggly Wiggly store in Davisville is not owned by Belle Foods.
Pictured top: The Belle Foods store in Atmore. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.