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Grocery store chain plans to acquire 146 stores on West Coast



Photo Credit: SUBMITTTED - Three Albertsons supermarkets in Tigard and Sherwood are poised to become Haggens after an acquisition of 146 stores across Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and ArizonaHaggen Food and Pharmacy is about to make a major comeback.

The Washington-based grocery store chain announced Friday that it will open more than 100 new stores across the West Coast in 2015, including two stores in Tigard and another location in Sherwood.

In a statement, the company said it is in talks to acquire 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona.

Haggens will take over the current Albertsons store at 16200 S.W. Pacific Highway in Tigard as well as its location at 14300 S.W. Barrows Road and the Sherwood Albertsons supermarket at 16030 S.W. Tualatin-Sherwood Road.

When finished, the independent grocery retailer will have 10 locations in the Portland area alone, including Beaverton, Tigard, Sherwood, Lake Oswego, West Linn and Clackamas, with another 10 in Bend, Eugene, Grants Pass, Klamath Falls and Baker City.

“With this pivotal acquisition, we will have the opportunity to introduce many more customers to the Haggen experience,” said John Caple, the chairman of Haggen’s board of directors and partner at Comvest Partners, a private investment firm that owns the majority of shares of Haggen. “Our Pacific Northwest grocery store chain has been committed to local sourcing, investing in the communities we serve and providing genuine service and homemade quality since it was founded in 1933. We will continue our focus on sourcing and investing locally even with this exciting expansion.”

The increase in locations comes after the Federal Trade Commission reviewed Albertsons’ merger with Safeway. The merger required the supermarket giants to sell off some of their locations.

The FTC has yet to approve Haggen’s acquisition, but if it does, Haggen leaders said the company would begin converting its Albertsons and Safeway stores into Haggen markets during the first half of 2015.

Haggen plans on retaining the employees and managers currently working at the Albertsons and Safeway stores.

“We warmly welcome these new employees and stores into the Haggen family,” said John Clougher, CEO of Haggen’s Pacific Northwest division. “The stores are well run and very successful, thanks to the dedicated store teams.

“We want to retain these existing teams while allowing our growing company to build on their past successes. We plan to adopt the best practices of our new stores to offer a superior shopping experience for our valued customers in all of our stores.”

The company is expected to grow from about 2,000 employees to more than 10,000, if the acqusition is approved.

It’s a big change for the Bellingham, Wash.-based company, which currently operates only 18 stores across Oregon and Washington.

In 2011, the grocery chain shuttered many of its stores, including locations across the state, leaving only its Tualatin and Oregon City locations in Oregon.

Its store on Southwest Murray Boulevard in the Sexton Mountain neighborhood sat empty for years, before it was transformed last year into a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

“We committed to this acquisition because we knew we had the experience, talent and drive to get it done,” Caple said. “The strength of our management and store support teams, combined with the talent of the store teams at each of the new store locations, will enable Haggen to be a successful West Coast grocer.”

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