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First on Coupons in the News:

It looks like the final chapter of the troubled Haggen grocery chain is about to be written. On the very day that it held the first in a series of auctions to sell off the majority of its stores, Haggen has informed the bankruptcy court that it’s now seeking to sell all the rest.

In short, it appears Haggen may soon be history.

Haggen has requested a hearing to seek “approval of the proposed sale of the Debtors’ Core Stores.” Those would be the 32 locations it had previously said were not for sale (listed below). Half of them are original Haggen locations, dating back to before the chain’s ill-fated expansion plan, while the remaining half are Albertsons and Safeway stores that the chain purchased earlier this year, and had hoped to hold onto.

And you know by now, how that went.

After announcing the auctions of the California, Arizona and Nevada stores it acquired from Albertsons, Haggen had plans to shrink to roughly its pre-expansion size, retaining a small set of stores in Oregon and Washington. Several locations on the list of “core stores” ended up on the auction block, however, and now it appears the rest will as well.

“As part of the Debtors’ overall sale strategy,” Haggen’s motion reads, “the Debtors have decided, in their business judgment, to sell all or substantially all of the Assets — which collectively represent the Debtors’ most valuable store locations — in order to further maximize recoveries to the Debtors’ estates, their creditors, and all parties in interest.”

No buyers for the remaining stores are lined up just yet. Haggen is seeking a stalking horse bidder or bidders, to make an opening offer for the stores that will stand if no one else outbids them. Barring that, Haggen plans to put the core stores up for auction, just like the others.

The first round of a scheduled three-round auction was held earlier Monday (see the list of stores and updated auction results here). About 40 bidders – including Albertsons itself – had pre-qualified to participate, and 14 submitted baseline bids.

Haggen is requesting a December 4th hearing on its motion to sell its remaining stores, with a planned auction to be held on January 8th (update: the auction has now been moved to March 18th).

In a statement provided to Coupons in the News late Tuesday, Haggen suggested that the move to seek buyers for its core stores was not its preference. “As part of the restructuring process, Haggen was required to explore potential outside opportunities for all of its operations, including the Core Stores which are performing well,” the statement reads. “The bid procedures filed (Monday) comply with those terms. Despite the filing, Haggen does not anticipate any changes to continuing operations at the Core Stores including regular payments to suppliers and partners.”

The statement leaves some room for interpretation – unlike the stores to be auctioned this week, which began holding going-out-of-business sales before the scheduled auctions, Haggen’s statement indicates that the rest of its stores will remain open for business during the bankruptcy process. That could be to ensure a smooth transition to new owners, or it could be that Haggen might like to stay in business in some reduced form, if it can pay its creditors, emerge from bankruptcy and keep any unsold core stores. But with all of its stores now heading for the auction block, it may not have a choice.

If so, it looks like it could be an ignominious end, for a small regional grocery chain with high hopes of going big time. In the end, it appears that all Haggen may have succeeded in doing, is going bust.

REMAINING HAGGEN LOCATIONS, TO BE AUCTIONED FEBRUARY 29TH:

Address City State Original banner
1800 N.E. 3rd St Bend OR Former Albertsons
61155 S. Hwy 97 Bend OR Former Albertsons
1675 W. 18th Ave Eugene OR Former Albertsons
1690 Allen Creek Rd Grants Pass OR Former Albertsons
16199 Boones Ferry Road Lake Oswego OR Former Albertsons
19701 Highway 213 Oregon City OR Original Haggen
14300 S W Barrows Rd Tigard OR Former Albertsons
1406 Lake Tapps Parkway East Auburn WA Original Haggen
2814 Meridian Bellingham WA Original Haggen
1401 12th Street Bellingham WA Original Haggen
210 36th St. Bellingham WA Original Haggen
2900 Woburn St Bellingham WA Original Haggen
4545 Cordata Parkway Bellingham WA Cordata Pharmacy
757 Haggen Dr. Burlington WA Original Haggen
1815 Main Street Ferndale WA Original Haggen
17171 Bothell Way N.E. Lake Forest Park WA Former Albertsons
8915 Market Place NE Lake Stevens WA Original Haggen
8611 Steilacoom Blvd SW Lakewood WA Former Albertsons
3711 88th St NE Marysville WA Original Haggen
2601 East Division Mount Vernon WA Original Haggen
31565 State Route 20, #1 Oak Harbor WA Former Safeway
1313 Cooper Point Road SW Olympia WA Original Haggen
3520 Pacific Ave SE Olympia WA Former Albertsons
114 E Lauridsen Blvd Port Angeles WA Former Albertsons
201 37th Ave. SE Puyallup WA Original Haggen
3925 236th Ave NE Redmond WA Former Albertsons
1301 Avenue D Snohomish WA Original Haggen
17520 State Route 9 SE Snohomish WA Former Albertsons
26603 72nd Ave NW Stanwood WA Original Haggen
450 N. Wilbur Ave Walla Walla WA Former Albertsons
1128 N. Miller Wenatchee WA Former Albertsons
17641 Garden Way NE Woodinville WA Original Haggen

 

23 Comments

  1. Exhaggenemployee says:

    Alas you are all wrong the downfall of Haggens was greedy upper management from long ago. I worked there for 28 years and watched as they changed there philosophy from buying power to keep prices low to raising prices to make more profit. Is it any wonder that when the economy caught up with them that the leaders all bailed with there millions and the faithfull employees were stuck holding a bag of crap and a pink slip.

  2. I never liked Haggens prices or store brands to begin with and look forward to a more affordable store. A store like Winco would be awesome!!

    I do like the employees though, and think its a huge bummer for them.

  3. Rich Harberg says:

    Comvest is the investment firm that bought Haggen a few years back. This was a real estate play from the word go, they never intended for this to work as they bought the Albertsons stores for pennies on the dollar.
    Comvest stands to make a killing in this auction. Haggen employees were just a pawn in the game for Comvest.

    Ever seen the movie “Wall Street”? Comvest could not care less about everybody who will be out of a job.

  4. Hopefully Albertsons, Safeway, Fred Meyers, or any number of other RESPONSIBLE grocery stores can step in and re-hire all the people who lost their livelihoods on Haggen’s terrible business decisions.

    If you can’t afford to maintain your business, then don’t go in and buy other stores out – leaving hundreds if not thousands of employees out in the cold during the Holiday season. I feel sorry for any former Albertsons or other Employee that got caught up in this – who now have to struggle to make ends meet and find new jobs in a hurry.

    Shame on you, Haggens. I hope charges are filed; or at the very least, lawsuits.

    • I work for Safeway and I know they are actually actively trying to hire Haggen employees. 🙂

    • If you don’t know the whole story keep your mouth shut.

    • An outside investment group purchased Haggen, and that group decided to go forward with the expansion. So blame stupid rich people.

      • I believe I did. Specifically people who are in charge of Haggens who over expanded and the results of their behavior threatens thousands of jobs.

      • Rich Harberg says:

        That is Comvest. Their goal was to simply gain the real estate. It was a lie the whole time.

      • I agree, stupid rich people and greedy people who all think they are better then the next person who unfortunately work for those companies. Cant feel bad for Haggen they are getting what they deserve. their upper management and long time original employees got caught up in the greed and saw a get rich quick scheme.

    • it is a very sad way to go for the employees… but the store itself I won’t be unhappy to see go, and I live within a stones throw and see what others don’t see

    • Technically, you should be saying shame on you Comvest, not Haggen.

  5. Please say it isn’t so! The Woodinville Haggen’s is my go-to grocery store. Nothing else compares. Growing up in Bellingham, I love Haggen’s. They have always been a step up from other stores. I hate Albertson’s and Safeway … even more so, now that they have killed my favorite. Totally crushed. #supportHaggens #boycottAlbertsons #boycottSafeway

    • Yeah – Poor Haggens. Poor Haggens who bought out Albertsons and Safeway stores – mismanaged themselves to the point of bankrupcy within 6 months, and now hundreds of employees, and thousands of lives are impacted because they went full re-re on their expansion policy.

      Haggens – destroyer of jobs. #Eatashotgun #Albertsons&SafewaystillExist&Somehowaren’tbankrupt #fanboyneeds a life.

    • #arrestHaggensCEO #Haggensjobkiller #HaggensdestroysWAEconomy

      • a real news reader says:

        Do you actually think this way?
        If you had been following this from the original purchase, through the current problems, you would know the blame is not all in a single court. Do some research and then come back with some thoughts.

  6. Tammy Merritt says:

    Should of never gotten past the ftc and it wouldn’t of messed up so many lives myself and family included! They robbed so many employees of years of experience and stability. Just to go back to the same stores again. A major crime of the ftc part.

    • Tammy, I’m truly sorry to hear that. The degree of mismanagement on their part, the impact on the economy and jobs should be rated as a criminal offense.

      #arrestHaggensCEO #Haggensjobkiller

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