OKLAHOMA CITY — HAC, parent company of Homeland Stores here, said it has acquired 11 Belle Foods locations — 10 in Georgia and one in Alabama.

Homeland, which is employee-owned, operates 76 stores in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. The ownership transition is scheduled to continue one store at a time during the first two weeks of October.


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Darryl Fitzgerald, president and chief executive officer of Homeland, said he is "very excited and enthused about the potential of these stores."

"We plan to fill these stores up and give the dedicated, long-term associates the tools they need to better serve their customers."

Homeland's wholesale supplier is Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., which purchased the remaining 43 Belle Foods locations from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., last Friday. Rouses Markets, Thibodaux, La., another AWG member, said Monday it would take over six of the stores in Alabama.

Read more: Rouses Buys Six Belle Foods

Thirteen of the acquired stores are scheduled to be closed, and the remaining 13 will be acquired by other AWG members, including Food-Champs, Navarre, Fla.; Food Giant, Sheridan, Ark.; Greers Markets, Pritchard, Ala.; Hometown Grocery, Athens, Ala.; Ramey Enterprises, Waynesboro, Miss.; and Triple V Inc., Louisville, Miss.

Two Alabama stores are being sold to Bill White and his son Jeff, who acquired Southern Family Markets from C&S last year and changed the stores' names to Belle Foods. The Whites reportedly plan to expand the business from the two-store base as AWG members.

Five stores will be sold to Mitchell Grocery, a wholesaler based in Albertville, Ala. — an AWG competitor. According to trade reports, no AWG members were interested in the stores in northern Alabama, an area in which AWG has only a few members, so the company was willing to sell to a competitor.

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