San Diego – Grocery operator Haggen, Inc. has announced this Thursday its plans to close seven local stores in the Pacific Southwest market and to realign 37 core stores and a stand-alone pharmacy in the Pacific Northwest, as part of its bankruptcy protection process.

After the company filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code for the US Bankruptcy Court, they will close 7 stores in the Pacific Southwest. They also have considered closing 12 stores in Oregon, 10 in Arizona, 83 in California and 15 in Washington.

Haggen Food & Pharmacy is the largest independent grocery retailer in the Pacific Northwest. The company is currently headquartered in Bellingham, Washington and began in 1933 when Ben Haggen, Dorothy Haggen, and Doug Clark opened the first store on Bay Street in Bellingham .Photo: Schell Design Group

The reason why Haggen has decided to take these actions is because before the end of 2014, it grew from 18 stores located in the Pacific Northwest to 164 stores located in Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona, since the owners purchased all of Albertson’s locations.

Although both companies made agreements, Haggen claims Albertsons did not act in food faith, which led the company to fail in its efforts to convert newly acquired stores.

“In order to convince Haggen to purchase 146 stores, Albertsons made false representations to both Haggen and the FTC about Albertsons’ commitment to a seamless transformation of the stores into viable competitors under the Haggen banner,” the Haggen lawsuit alleged.

The company has asked the Bankruptcy Court to approve the conduction of Store Closing Sales, which means that all the employees of these soon to be closed stores will receive 60 day notice of the pending store and office closures while the stores remain open.

Nonetheless, Haggen plans to reorganize its operations around a core group of 37 stores located in the Pacific Northwest, including 16 of Haggen’s historical stores, one stand-alone pharmacy and 21 stores acquired in the Albertson’s transaction.

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

The big Company was founded in 1933 in Bellingham, Washington. For the past 80 years, Haggen has supported regional farms, ranches, fisheries and other business that are located in this region, creating a lasting local food economy.

“Although this has been a difficult process and experience, we will remain concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, where we began, focusing on fresh Northwest products and continuing our support and involvement in the communities we serve,” Clougher added.

Here you can find the list of the stores scheduled to close.

Source: Haggen