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In a post on its website and social media outlets today, Birmingham, Ala.-based Belle Foods shared several developments with customers and employees regarding its recent bankruptcy filing and related matters. The post from its website follows below:
Dear Belle Foods, Food World, and Piggly Wiggly Customers,
We appreciate your patience and loyalty while we work through our financial problems. We are pleased to announce several developments benefiting our customers and store associates.
Shelves Fully Stocked
We have partnered with our wholesale supplier to address inventory issues that arose at the time of our recent bankruptcy filing. We recognize that these issues left customers concerned about the future of their store. These issues have been resolved and we expect the stores will be fully stocked going forward. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused in recent weeks and we are committed to maintaining the selection of items and quality of service that our customers have come to expect.
Fewer Stores Closing
There has been some confusion regarding stores ‘closing’ vs. ‘selling.’ Belle has announced plans to sell 44 stores. We expect these stores to remain open and serving customers even though there may be a different name on the front of the store. Belle initially planned to close 13 underperforming stores. Many potential buyers requested that we sell those stores as “on-going operations.” This means six of the stores original slated for closing will, instead, be sold and will remain open for our employees, our customers and communities. All told, we hope to see up to 50 of the original 57 stores open for business at the end of this transition.
Stores Staying Open
We have agreed to place 44 stores up for sale. This difficult decision provides the best opportunity for the stores to remain open and operating for our customers, our employees, and the communities they serve. During the transition, these stores will continue to operate. You will see the same smiling associates, the same great selection, and enjoy the same convenience you have come to expect.
We thank you, our faithful customers. We will do everything we can to ensure the stores are there for you. We are working to see that our employees stay employed. We invite you to come back to your home store.