THIBODAUX, La. — Rouses Markets here said it will expand into Alabama in the next few weeks as it takes ownership of six former Belle Foods stores from its wholesaler, Associated Wholesale Grocers.

Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG purchased 43 Belle Foods stores from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., last Friday and plans to sell them to a variety of its retail members.


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Rouses operates 38 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi, with three more stores scheduled to open in Louisiana next year. The addition of the six stores — all in the Mobile, Ala., area — will give the chain a total of 47 locations. The stores include two locations in Mobile and single units in the Gulf Shores, Spanish Fort, Saraland and Theodore suburbs.

According to Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses, "The stores will already be closed when we take ownership. We're going to keep them closed while they undergo multimillion-dollar remodelings."

Among the in-store features Rouses will add are sausage kitchens and seafood boiling rooms. Rouse said the exact re-opening dates will depend on construction times. Rouses said it will begin interviewing current Belle Foods employees this week.

Read more: AWG to Take Control of Belle Foods

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