(Jan. 5) According to a Jan. 4 article from The Birmingham News, supermarket chain Southern Family Markets will close six area stores this month, slashing 250 jobs in the process.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Al., Southern Family Markets formed in 2005 by acquiring 104 stores from area retailer BI-LO and others from Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Jacksonville, Fla.

The chain, owned by Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., then confirmed plans in 2006 to close or sell a slew of stores in multiple southern states.

The News reported that the company has closed nearly half of its stores since last year. Southern Family will be left with 43 units in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi after it unloads the latest six supermarkets.

When Southern Family picked up the BI-LO stores, a good number of them were considered underperformers, the article noted. Various media reports said the firm was continuing with its strategy of streamlining its store base to boost profits and to maintain a strong place in select markets.