Washington-based Haggen Food and Grocery is adding 146 stores, including the Keizer Albertsons. Submitted

Washington-based Haggen Food and Grocery is adding 146 stores, including the Keizer Albertsons.
Submitted

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Pretty soon Keizer will no longer have an Albertsons.

That’s because the grocery store located at 5450 River Road N will become a Haggen sometime in 2015. Haggen Food and Grocery was started in Washington in 1933 and currently has 18 locations. Florida-based Comvest Partners purchased a majority stake of the company in 2011.

Albertsons and Safeway underwent a merger earlier this year, with the agreement to sell 168 stores to acquire merger approval as part of AB Acquisition LLC agreeing to buy Safeway for $9.4 billion. Haggen is acquiring 146 of those stores, including the Albertsons in Keizer that opened in 1985. The Safeway in Keizer will be unchanged.

Darren Dye, store manager at the Keizer Albertsons, referred questions to Dennis McCoy, Communications and Public Affairs manager for the Idaho-based company. McCoy said shoppers won’t notice much difference.

“Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Haggen has agreed to hire all store employees upon the close of the Albertsons/Safeway merger,” McCoy said.

According to a news release from Haggen, the company will convert all acquired stores to the Haggen banner “in phases during the first half of 2015” after the transaction closes. However, a certain time was not specified for individual stores.

“I don’t have a more specific timeline for the Keizer location at this time,” McCoy said.

Deborah Pleva, an associate with Weinstein PR that sent out Haggen’s news release, noted the changes should be seen first in the north.

“They will most likely convert stores from north to south, so Washington stores would be converted first and Oregon would come next,” Pleva said.

With the purchases, Haggen will add 20 Oregon locations and expand from having stores in two states to having stores in five states with California, Nevada and Arizona added.

Once the store becomes a Haggen, shoppers maybe notice some difference in brands.

“Haggen has its own private label,” Pleva said. “The company is committed to sourcing locally, so they will work to bring in more produce and products from the region.”

The acquisition remains subject to Federal Trade Commission approval. Haggen would go from having 2,000 to more than 10,000 employees.

“With this pivotal acquisition, we will have the opportunity to introduce many more customers to the Haggen experience,” said John Caple, chairman of the Haggen board of directors and a partner at Comvest Partners. “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.”

John Clougher, CEO of Haggen Pacific Northwest, is pleased with the acquisitions.

“The stores are well run and very successful, thanks to the dedicated store teams,” Clougher said. “We want to retain these existing teams while allowing our growing company to build on their past successes.”