After Quick Expansion, Haggen to Close All California Stores

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Photo courtesy of Haggen

The Haggen grocery chain that took over numerous Albertsons and Vons stores earlier this year but quickly ran into financial troubles that led to a bankruptcy filing announced Thursday it will close all of its stores in California.

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The company announced it is pulling out the Pacific Southwest market, and will focus its operations instead around 37 stores in the Pacific Northwest as part of its bankruptcy realignment.

“Haggen plans to continue to build its brand in partnership with its dedicated support and store teams,” Haggen Pacific Northwest CEO John Clougher said. “Haggen has a long record of success in the Pacific Northwest and these identified stores will have the best prospect for ongoing excellence.”

Company officials said they are exploring sales of its stores in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.

All employees of its closing stores “will receive 60-day notice of the pending store and office closures. During this process, all stores will remain open. Employees will continue to receive their pay and benefits through the normal course of business as previously approved by the court.”

The 37 core stores Haggen plans to continue operating include 16 of its original locations, along with 21 stores it acquired through the Albertsons takeover.

By acquiring stores that were divested by Albertsons and Safeway, the owner of Vons, Haggen expanded from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies and about 2,000 employees in the Pacific Northwest to 164 stores and 106 pharmacies employing more than 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

Many industry analysts at the time questioned if the grocer bit off more than it could chew with the sudden expansion.

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