Haggen Outlines Five Month Conversion Plan for its 146 New Stores
BELLINGHAM, WA – Haggen has made the official announcement that it has begun the process of acquiring 146 stores as part of the Federal Trade Commission’s approval of the Albertons LLC and Safeway Merger.
As of 12:01 am this morning, Haggen took ownership of the first Albertsons store in Monroe, Washington. When the acquisition is completed, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.
“This momentous acquisition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rapidly expand the Haggen brand across the West Coast,” said John Caple, Chairman of the Haggen Board of Directors and Partner at Comvest Partners, a private investment firm that owns the majority share of Haggen. “Now that the deal has closed, our team is focused on seamlessly converting these 146 stores to the Haggen brand over the next five months.”
The Haggen team, which is led by John Clougher, CEO, Haggen Pacific Northwest, and Bill Shaner, CEO, Haggen Pacific Southwest, has outlined the retailer's plan to convert the stores. According to a press release, the divestitures to Haggen must be completed within 120 days from the purchase of the first store.
The retailer will convert the stores moving from north to south, with just a few exceptions, with the first conversion beginning today at the former Albertsons in Monroe. The team outlined the conversions as follows:
- 18 stores in Washington between February and March
- 83 stores in California from March to May
- 20 stores in Oregon throughout March, April and May
- 7 stores in Washington in June
- Nevada and Arizona stores converted last
The stores will all be transformed into the Haggen brand from the Albertsons, Safeway, Pavilions or Vons brand. Additionally, each store’s employees will be invited to stay.
“Retaining the existing store employees was an essential part of the acquisition and we hope they all accept our invitation to join the Haggen family. These are great teams and these new employees will be an incredible asset to our growing company. Plus, these familiar faces will help ease the brand transition for long-time customers,” said Bill Shaner.
Haggen says that conversion time will vary store by store, with some converted within two days and others taking longer. Interior and Exterior signs will change at all locations.
John Clougher added, “We’re excited about the changes we’re making to enhance these stores, and we’re confident customers will like the new look, the new offerings, and their new full service grocery destination.”
In terms of the new store offerings, Shaner noted, “Haggen has built its 81-year old business on providing excellent, locally sourced, fresh produce and high quality meats and seafood. That focus will definitely be reflected in the new stores.”
As we previously reported, the acquisition of the 146 stores by Haggen has been well supported by grocery industry partners. “We are incredibly grateful for key partners that have helped to make this acquisition a reality, including Unified Grocers, SUPERVALU and Charlie’s Produce,” noted Clougher.
Unified Grocers will be the primary supplier in the Pacific Southwest and a secondary supplier in the Pacific Northwest. SUPERVALU will be the primary supplier in the Pacific Northwest. Charlie’s Produce will be the primary and preferred supplier for produce for all Haggen stores. Haggen plans to announce many regional and local distributors in the coming months.
Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow as we continue to follow this newly expanded chain.