[Update, Saturday, 2:34 p.m.]
Haggen announced late Friday that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved Gelson’s Markets and Smart & Final’s stalking horse bids for 36 of its California stores. Smart & Final had bid in October on two of the six Haggen stores in Santa Barbara County: the Linden Avenue Carpinteria location and the State Street location in the Five Points Shopping Center.
Regarding Friday’s auction results, Haggen said 55 additional stores in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington were sold for “more than $47 million.” Those sales await approval by the bankruptcy court later this month. If they are approved, Haggen will have found buyers for 91 of its 164 total stores.
The bankrupt Haggen grocery chain announced Friday the winners of a three-day auction of a number of its 127 stores in the southwest market, including Santa Barbara.
In a document filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Haggen listed Albertsons, Sprouts Farmers Markets, and Roxy’s Market and Cafe as successful bidders on four of the six Haggen locations in Santa Barbara County. (Smart & Final has already staked initial stalking horse bids on the Carpinteria store and 3943 State Street location in the Five Points Shopping Center.)
At Haggen’s 1500 N. “H” Street location in Lompoc and 163 S. Turnpike Road location in Goleta, Albertsons’s respective $300,000 and $1.6 million bids were successful. At Haggen’s 175 N. Fairview Drive store in the Fairview Shopping Center, Sprout’s Farmers Markets won the bid at $1 million — Ralphs Grocery Company has been named as the location’s backup bidder.
For its $75,000 bid, Roxy’s Market and Cafe — a mom and pop style natural foods grocer with two stores in Aspen, Colorado and Big Sky, Montana — has been offered a lease at Haggen’s 2010 Cliff Drive location, co-owner Michael Lawler told The Santa Barbara Independent. It’s the first Santa Barbara business venture for Lawler and his wife and business partner Roxy Lawler, although not their first in California. Lawler was born and raised in San Francisco, where he worked as a firefighter and pursued wholesale business ventures on the side. Lawler couldn’t comment on the price difference between his bid and Albertsons’s, citing a confidentiality agreement.
“It’s a long process,” he said of the pending bankruptcy court’s approval of the sale on November 24. Michael Lawler said Roxy’s Santa Barbara store will “probably be more conventional” than its Colorado and Montana markets, but will still offer “a bulk of organic and natural food items.” In Aspen, Roxy’s competes with large-scale grocery chains Whole Foods and City Market of the Kroger Company. “We can adapt because we’re small. We can make changes in a day,” Michael Lawler said.
This article was updated to include a statement from Haggen.