September 25, 2013 10:22:04 AM
An east Columbus grocery store may be closing its doors.
Southern Family Markets on Alabama Street is owned by Belle Foods, a bankrupt Birmingham, Ala.-based company that operates 43 stores through Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Belle Foods was up for grabs Tuesday in a closed auction. The high bidder, according to AL.com, was Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.
AWG entered the auction as a "stalking horse" bidder. That means the company made an initial bid -- roughly $16.13 million -- to make sure Belle Foods' creditors would be satisfied with the sale price.
According to its plan filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Alabama, AWG plans on closing 13 of Belle Foods grocery stores -- including Southern Family Markets.
Because the sale is not technically final -- the federal bankruptcy court still has to approve it -- no closing date has been set for Southern Family Markets in Columbus.
Contacted Tuesday, the store's manager declined to comment.
The grocery employees roughly 40 people.
Belle Foods also owns Piggly Wiggly in Starkville. That grocery is not slated to close, according to federal court documents.
William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.
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