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Belle Foods files Chapter 11, closing 13 stores

Belle Foods, based in Birmingham, AL, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, noting that it owes creditors more than $42 million.

belleThe company was expected to keep stores open while it tries to compensate its creditors; however, AL.com reported that 13 of its 57 locations will be closing over the next month.

The Chapter 11 filing was reportedly due to a variety of issues, including regional competition, diminished business, technical problems with its accounting system and increased payroll taxes.

In April the company announced a plan to replace full-time employees with 300 part-time workers as a cost-cutting measure.

At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Belle was in the process of rebranding its stores, which are located across the Southeast in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.The retailer currently operates under the Belle Foods, Piggly Wiggly and Food World banners.