Thibodaux, La. -- Southern grocery store operator Rouses Markets will take ownership of six former Belle Foods stores in Alabama from Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), a retail-owner cooperative of which Rouses Markets is a member. AWG and its group of grocers and operators submitted the winning bid last week at the Belle Foods bankruptcy auction in Birmingham.
This is Rouses Markets' first expansion into Alabama. The company currently operates 38 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi. Three new stores in Louisiana were also recently announced.
Rouses Markets won't take possession until after the transfer to AWG is complete.
"The stores will already be closed when we take ownership," said Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses Markets. "We're going to keep them closed while they undergo multimillion-dollar remodeling. We'll be adding in-store sausage kitchens, seafood boiling rooms and other features we're famous for."