Belle Foods Files for Bankruptcy

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Birmingham, Ala.

Birmingham-based Belle Foods, owner of Piggly Wiggly ion North Hills Street, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying the company is struggling to pay debt.

In April, the company announced plans to hire 300 part-time workers at its stores in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

The chain, which has 57 stores and more than 2,850 employees, listed debts of $10 million to $50 million. It said its assets also fall within that range.

The company operates under the banners Belle Foods, Piggly Wiggly, and Food World in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. It was founded in 2011 by William and Jeff White, and quickly acquired 57 stores from Southern Family Markets.

Company officials say a decline in business, technical issues with its accounting system and issues with its lending structure and relationship all factored into the decision to file for bankruptcy.