After closing Henrico store, Southern Season files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

After closing Henrico store, Southern Season files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Two months after closing their Libbie Mill-Midtown location, specialty food retailer Southern Season is now filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

According to the Triangle Business Journal, the North Carolina-based retailer has made the filing as part of restructuring efforts.

The specialty grocer opened in July 2014 as an anchor of the Libbie Mill development off Staples Mill Road in Henrico, but company officials say the 50,000 square foot store carrying more than 80,000 gourmet grocery and cooking items was "too large and too expensive to keep open."

Both of their larger stores in Henrico and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina have closed their doors.

As part of a refocusing of retail strategies, Southern Season has scraped their plans to expand to Atlanta, which was scheduled to open this summer.

Triangle Business Journal reports Southern Season has liabilities of over $18 million with estimated assets of just under $10 million and the company expects to get out of bankruptcy proceedings by the end of the year.

At the time of Southern Season's Libbie Mill store closure in April, it was announced that a smaller pop-up store called Taste of Southern Season will open in 2017 in Charlottesville, one of 30 planned around the country between now and 2018.

These stores would be around 4,000 to 7,000 square feet in size and feature some of their best-selling items.

Henrico Economic Development officials remain optimistic about the future of Libbie Mill following Southern Season's departure from the development.

"The Libbie Mill development continues to gain momentum," wrote Henrico Economic Development Authority Executive Director Gary McLaren. "As the residential units come online, the development is poised to be another mixed-use success in Henrico County,"

"Its mid-town location along with Henrico County's competitive tax structure are attracting growing interest as an office location," McLaren continued, adding "The strong resurgence of Willow Lawn only adds to the attractiveness of the Libbie Mill development as it begins to develop."

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