Southern Family Markets

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Southern Family Markets is a supermarket chain headquartered at 800 Industrial Drive, off Lakeshore Parkway in Birmingham. It was created by and is operated as an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers, a distributor based in Keene, New Hampshire. Until 2012, Southern Family Markets operated 59 supermarkets and 10 liquor stores under the banners Southern Family Markets, Piggly Wiggly, Bruno's, Food World, Buy 4 Less and SFM Liquor Stores. It sold 57 locations to Belle Foods in February of that year.

C&S created the chain in 2005, when it acquired 104 stores from BI-LO, which operated stores under the BI-LO, Bruno's Supermarkets, Food World, FoodMax and Food Fair brand names. These stores were primarily smaller and older, and frequently found in declining neighborhoods. In addition, Southern Family acquired 20 stores from Winn-Dixie, which had been undergoing a retrenchment out of upper regions of the Southeast, back toward its home base of Florida due to bankruptcy restructuring of the company.

Under increasing competition from other grocers, supercenters, warehouse stores and natural food stores, Southern Family Markets announced in August 2006 that they would either close or sell 30 stores in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi along with their complete North Carolina market of 17 stores. Soon after, on November 30, 2006, Southern Family Markets announced that they were closing all seven of their stores in Tennessee, then announced on January 5, 2007 that it would close all six stores in its hometown of Birmingham.

In August 2007, C&S converted six Southern Family stores in Georgia to the Piggly Wiggly brand name. In October 2007, seven Southern Family stores in Alabama were converted to the Piggly Wiggly banner. In January 2008, three additional Southern Family stores in Alabama were converted to the Piggly Wiggly banner.

On April 30, 2009, as part of Bruno's bankruptcy proceedings, pending court approval, Southern Family Markets agreed to purchase 31 Bruno's locations on a "going concern" basis along with the remaining 25 Bruno's stores for liquidation in a $45.8 million deal. The purchase would return the company to a retail presence in metro Birmingham, with six Bruno's and Food World locations remaining open; another 12 locations in the metro area would close.

As of September 2009, Southern Family Markets operated 13 Southern Family supermarkets; 11 liquor stores; 28 Piggly Wiggly stores; 7 Bruno's stores, all located in Alabama, with one store in Hoover; as well as 23 Food World stores, with stores in Alabaster, Green Springs Highway, Cullman, Hueytown, Pelham, and Trussville. In February 2012 the company sold 57 locations to Belle Foods.


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