Haggen to eliminate 27 stores, including 1 in Spanaway area

Staff file

Bellingham-based Haggen is planning to close or sell 27 grocery stores as it streamlines operations after making a huge acquisition earlier this year.

The grocer is closing 16 stores in California, five in Arizona, five in Oregon and one in Washington, its Spanaway-area store on Pacific Avenue, according to a news release from the company. The Oregon stores that will close include two in Klamath Falls and one each in Tualatin, Grants Pass and Keizer.

The reason for the store reduction is to strengthen its competitive position, according to the news release. Most of the stores being closed or sold were acquired as part of the transaction in which Alberstons and Safeway divested 146 stores in order to complete a merger this year.

“By making the tough choice to close and sell some stores, we will be able to invest in stores that have the potential to thrive under the Haggen banner,” said Haggen CEO Pacific Southwest Bill Shaner in the news release.

In recent weeks the company has experienced some challenges as it converted more than 100 stores to the Haggen banner, resulting in some employees layoffs in the Southwest region.