Haggens files for bankruptcy protection

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    I called it here a few weeks ago. Utterly predictable.

    Reminds me of Tom Peterson buying Stereo Super Store and GI Joe’s selling to that California investment firm — both Peterson and Joe’s were gone in about a year.

    Grocery retailers operate on razor thin profit margins. I don’t see Haggens recovering, even with bankruptcy protection. They’re finished.


    They closed their west side stores so I had thought they were bankrupt until you mentioned it weeks ago. I thought they targeted the upper class… their prices were high.


    1) Buy way more stuff than you can afford or even want
    2) Sue the guys you just bought from for a cool Billion
    3) Go “bankrupt” so you can get rid of all the lousy leases you don’t want and hand pick the best 50 stores to keep.
    4) Lay off thousands- fucking your suppliers, creditors, employees and by extension the middle class in general.
    5) Profit

    The new America, 2015 style. Extra points for still giving the public the marketing view that you are a small family owned grocery chain. Actually, the Haggen brothers have been dead for years and the heirs sold it off to a venture capital group back in the late 90s. Joe Albertson has been dead even longer. Heh. Makes me almost want to vote for that Socialist. Almost.


    I wonder how many Safeway’s will be closed is smaller markets? Out here in Clatsop County we only have Fred Meyer and Safeway, so I’ll bet these two Safeway’s will continue to thrive.


    My guess is that the only certain stores that might be closed or sold are where there is an Albertsons and Safeway very near each other.

    BTW, very strange to see Safeway brand name products inside Albertsons.


    Albertson’s was asked years ago if they were interested in building on the Northern Oregon Coast. They weren’t as Safeway & Fred Meyer has is all sold up. However, it does look like we will be getting a Walmart Super Store in Warrenton, about a mile from Fred Meyer in late 2016.


    Sorry to go off topic, but I was in Bend a few weeks back and they still have a Blockbuster Video store. I went in and it was packed with people. I thought they had all closed down. But NOT in bend.


    radiodork, according to Wikipedia (?!?), there are only about 50 Blockbuster franchises still open, so Bend is an anomaly. The same source says they are owned by Dish network and are pushing “Dish on Demand”. So perhaps they know what they are doing in keeping some stores open.

    For me, I have given up on renting dvd’s. I don’t care for netflix or redbox, I prefer to buy my favorite dvd’s from places like Hastings, I don’t know if they ever were in Oregon, but according to their website not today. Gohastings.com. Of course, Walmart and Barnes and Noble also sell DVD’s and I have bought from both.

    But back on topic…(though for many years grocery stores rented videos, and some still do!)


    There’s still a Blockbuster open in Sandy, and I think they do reasonably decent business, now that the the entire video rental market – what’s left of it – is funneled through their store and Red Box.


    Taking this a bit further, isn’t Haggen’s just another iteration of lower-echelon chains that have been going on over the years? Haggen-Top Foods-QFC-Waremart-Thriftway-Mayfair; all of these are regional chains that morphed up or down over the decades. The downfall of each has been trying to go too far, too fast.


    UPDATE: The Haggens Death Spiral continues . . .

    They’re asking the bankruptcy judge for permission to close 100 additional stores, including 7 in Oregon (Tigard, Sherwood, Milwaukie).

    This will leave them with just 37 stores. They started with 33 when they bought Albertsons/Safeway.

    This is going to be chaos for at least 3500 people who will now lose their jobs, seniority, pensions, insurance etc. Obviously the marketplace is going absorb most of those workers (people aren’t going to stop buying food because their store closed). But those lives are now f-ed up and back to minimum wage.

    I say the judge ought to say no to the request and instead order the company to liquidate the 33 original Haggens to fund the 100 they want to close and order them to find a buyer.

    Haggens shouldn’t be rewarded for making a monumental blunder in the first place. PLUS, they are not a Wall Street investment bank — no precedent exists to keep them alive! 🙂


    OK, so what are the options? Haggen needs to sell a sh_t load of stores. Who will buy them? My guess is there are no major chains interested. So they will probably be handed off to independent grocers in SoCal, and even in the NW. These stores tend to not do as well as the majors, so yes, a monumental blunder in the grocery biz. A lot of people lost a lot of money in this debacle.


    I spotted something today — no interested buyer has stepped forward.

    It will be interesting to find out who were the key people behind the idea to expand like this in the first place and if their heads are on pikes.


    One of the biggest grocery disasters in the western US of all time. Unprecedented. (With perhaps the A&P entry into Seattle and SoCal in the 60’s…that didn’t go well either).

    The result will be that Albertsons/Safeway will dominate most western markets, pure and simple. Yeah, you have your Trader Joe’s, QFC’s, Fred Meyer’s, and at the other end, Winco and Wal-Mart, but this Albertsons/Safeway merger was carefully calculated to kill the competition. The result, unfortunately, could mean higher prices for all.


    Ugh to that, Paul. I hate both. Thankfully, Scappoose has a good Fred Meyer 🙂

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