Haggen Food & Pharmacy — the health-conscious grocery chain from Bellingham, Washington that expanded this year from 18 Pacific Northwest stores to 146 after it acquired Albertsons and Vons locations in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada — announced today it has decided to close or sell a number of these stores.
According to a press release, the decision is, “part of Haggen’s right-sizing strategy” and necessary “in order to continue to improve its business and strengthen its competitive position.” Most stores scheduled to close were acquired by Haggen to avoid a monopoly in the $9.2 million merger of Albertsons LLC and Safeway in January 2015. A total of 27 Haggen locations will close in the Southwest region, including five in Oregon and one in Washington. Haggen has not yet counted how many people will lose their jobs due to the closures.
However, according to Haggen’s Bill Shaner, CEO of its Pacific Southwest region, the company intends to support its original stores, which continue to turn a profit: “Haggen’s goal going forward is to ensure a stable, healthy company that will benefit our customers, associates, vendors, creditors, stakeholders as well as the communities we serve. By making the tough choice to close and sell some stores, we will be able to invest in stores that have the potential to thrive under the Haggen banner.”
Additionally, John Clougher, Haggen CEO Pacific Northwest, stressed the chain’s community orientation: “Though Haggen has grown substantially, we remain committed to our core values and to support regional farms, ranches and food producers and to strengthen the communities around our stores.”
In a press release, Clougher and Shaner further expressed Haggen’s commitment to the communities it will serve: “We’re grateful to have an outstanding team along with the support of our vendor partners, financial backers and friends in the community as we take our next steps forward. Looking ahead, we will work hard every single day to earn the trust and business of our guests. We will continue to support community events and donate to schools. We will offer our customers the freshest and most local products we can find and the genuine service they deserve. And we will engage in lively discussions about how we can improve. We will remain actively involved in making our communities even better, and we will stay committed to the values that have always guided Haggen.”
The 27 stores will close gradually over the next 60 days. It is unclear whether any closures will take place in Santa Barbara, as Haggen’s press release confuses San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, incorrectly listing the Los Osos Haggen on Los Osos Valley Road, which is in S.L.O., as being in Santa Barbara.