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Haggen sign

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:

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
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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