Retailer Belle Foods LLC will attempt to sell its stores in an auction Sept. 24.

Decatur, Ala.-based Belle Foods, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection July 1 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alabama, was granted permission to conduct the auction by Judge Jack Caddell, according to court documents.

The auction will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Birmingham, Ala., law office of Burr & Forman LLP.

A follow-up hearing on the sale will be held Sept. 27.

Belle Foods, a privately held company, operates 57 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi under the banners of Belle Foods, Piggly Wiggly and Food World.

In a July 5 filing, the company asked the court for permission to try to sell 13 of its 57 stores. The court granted that request and, based on the level of interest in those stores, Belle Foods said in a July 24 filing it wanted to try to sell the other 44 stores.