Whether it’s good news or bad news depends on your perspective, but the bankrupt grocer Haggen has formally agreed to sell most of its remaining stores to Albertsons, confirming a report from a local union earlier this week.
In documents filed with the bankruptcy court late Friday, Haggen announced it was cancelling the much-delayed auction of its “core stores” that was most recently rescheduled for next Friday. Instead, it will be selling 29 of its 32 core stores to Albertsons for $106 million (the full list of the stores to be sold is below, and the full list of the fate of all Haggen locations is here). The three unsold stores will be closing within the next 60 days.
14 of the stores in the sale agreement are original Haggen locations that the retailer owned and operated before its disastrous expansion last year. 14 other stores are former Albertsons locations that Albertsons will now be getting back, and one is a former Safeway. The Federal Trade Commission required Albertsons and Safeway to sell the stores before approving their merger last year. And Haggen eagerly scooped them up – to its later regret.
The sale agreement also encompasses “all intellectual property of the seller”, including the Haggen name. Albertsons has not yet said whether it plans to rebrand all of the stores as Albertsons, if and when the sale is finalized. But unless Albertsons makes the unlikely decision to keep the tarnished Haggen name out front, the sale may spell the end of the Haggen story for good. (UPDATE: On March 14th, Albertsons announced that it will indeed keep the Haggen name on 14 original Haggen stores – see the full story here).
That Haggen story started way back in 1933. Haggen was founded in Bellingham, Washington and operated for decades as a small, regional grocer. “Haggen has built its business on providing guests the freshest and most local products with genuine service, while supporting the communities it serves,” the company proudly proclaimed.
But when Albertsons and Safeway announced that they would be selling 168 locations ahead of their merger, Haggen jumped at the chance to buy 146 of them. Retail analysts immediately raised their eyebrows at the audacious expansion plan, and wondered whether Haggen would be able to pull it off.
It couldn’t. Haggen’s troubles have been well-documented (click here for a selection of stories on its decline), but customers of its newly-acquired stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington were almost immediately underwhelmed. Haggen sued Albertsons, blaming the seller for its troubles. And then, adding insult to injury, Albertsons scooped up dozens of its former stores that Haggen was forced to auction.
And now this. In total, Albertsons has acquired, or will be acquiring, about 60 stores – the majority of them, stores that Albertsons or Safeway once owned and now will own again. To some, the move makes a mockery of the FTC order to divest the stores in the first place. But the FTC now says it’s better for employees and communities that the Haggen locations remain open and operational supermarkets, no matter the owner.
Haggen employees who have been worried about their jobs for months, will no doubt agree. Customers who prefer actual supermarket competition might think otherwise. Either way, the new sale agreement is scheduled to be submitted to the court for approval on March 29th, likely bringing down the curtain on the entire Haggen saga for good.
CORE STORES TO BE SOLD TO ALBERTSONS:
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|3075 Hilyard St.||Eugene||OR||Former Albertsons|
CORE STORES STILL AVAILABLE FOR SALE:
|19701 Highway 213||Oregon City||OR||Original Haggen|
|201 37th Ave. SE||Puyallup||WA||Original Haggen|
|114 E Lauridsen Blvd||Port Angeles||WA||Former Albertsons|
|4545 Cordata Parkway||Bellingham||WA||Cordata Pharmacy|
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