THIBODAUX, La. - Rouses Markets will expand its brand into Alabama, taking over six former Belle Foods stores from the Associated Whole Sale Grocers group, the company announced Monday.

The company currently operates 38 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Alabama stores are located in Mobile, Gulf Shores, Spanish Fort, Saraland and Theodore. Rouses Markets won't take possession until after the transfer to AWG is complete.

'The stores will already be closed when we take ownership,' said Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses Markets, and third-generation owner. 'We're going to keep them closed while they undergo multimillion-dollar remodeling. We'll be adding in-store sausage kitchens, seafood boiling rooms and other features we're famous for.'

The exact reopening dates for the stores will depend on construction times.

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