What might not be so good for Safeway and Albertsons is turning out to be a boon for Bellingham-based Haggen.
The grocery chain announced Friday that it intends to acquire 146 stores that have come available after the Federal Trade Commission completed its review of the merger agreement between Safeway and Albertsons.
With the acquisition, which remains subject to FTC approval, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies, according to a company release Friday.
The total number of Haggen employees will swell from 2,000 to more than 10,000, and the company footprint will grow from the Northwest to include stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.
“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 partner at Comvest Partners, a private investment firm that owns a majority of Haggen stock.
The company will be led by CEOs John Clougher and Bill Shaner. Clougher, CEO of Pacific Northwest, will have primary responsibility for the northern division of Washington and Oregon. Shaner, CEO of Pacific Southwest, will have primary responsibility for the southern division of California, Nevada and Arizona.
After the close of the transaction in early 2015, Haggen will convert all of the acquired Albertsons and Safeway stores to the Haggen brand in phases during the first half of the year. All store employees will have the opportunity to become employees of Haggen as their individual stores are transitioned to the Haggen name. Haggen plans to retain the current store management teams.
Among South Sound stores affected by the merger:
• 2800 Milton Way, Milton
• 11102 Canyon Road E., Puyallup
• 111 S. 38th St., Tacoma
• 8611 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood
• 31009 Pacific Highway S., Federal Way
• 3520 Pacific Ave. SE, Olympia
• 4831 Point Fosdick Drive NW, Gig Harbor
• 15805 Pacific Ave. S., Tacoma
Other stores affected in the immediate region include those in Renton, Burien, Bremerton, Port Orchard and Silverdale.