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Haggen struggles to gain footing in southern market

An undated photo of a Haggen store getting converted to the Northwest Fresh brand.
An undated photo of a Haggen store getting converted to the Northwest Fresh brand. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Converting 146 former Safeway and Albersons stores into the Haggen brand in six months is a monumental task, and the company appears to have hit a few bumps in the southern region.

Several media outlets are reporting that the Bellingham-based Haggen is laying off some employees at the newly acquired California, Nevada and Arizona stores. Here’s a link to an article in Supermarket News as well as a link to The Oregonian providing some details as well as criticisms from industry experts.

The Oregonian article points out that no public announcement has been made about job changes at the Pacific Northwest stores. In a statement to media, Bill Shaner, CEO of Haggen’s Pacific Southwest region, said the company was temporarily cutting back on staff hours to ensure it continues to run as efficiently as possible.

It will be interesting to see how the southwest region plays out. Haggen entered a very competitive market and appears to have focused on converting about 100 stores in a short amount of time. I’m guessing the next step is outreach to try and gain some market share in that area.

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