Haggens closing Los Osos store

August 14, 2015

Haggen 2Haggens, a Washington-based chain of grocery stores, announced Friday plans to close 27 stores – including the Haggens located in Los Osos. The stores are slated to close in 60 days.

Earlier this year, Haggen bought 146 Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Safeway stores. As part of its business strategy, Haggens may sell or close additional stores in the future, according to the press release.

Through the acquisition, Haggen expanded from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies and 2,000 employees in the Pacific Northwest to 164 stores and 106 pharmacies employing more than 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.

“Haggen’s goal going forward is to ensure a stable, healthy company that will benefit our customers, associates, vendors, creditors, stakeholders as well as the communities we serve,” said Haggen CEO Pacific Southwest, Bill Shaner. “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.”

The company has not yet determined how many jobs will be affected as a result of the closures and sales.

Last month, Haggens laid off dozens of Central Coast workers while other employees were moved from full-time to part-time hours.

Shaner blames competition from other grocery retailers for Haggen’s failures to retain customers.

“As we introduce Haggen throughout Southern California, Arizona and Nevada, our challenge is to establish and grow the brand in new markets, while transitioning former Albertsons/Vons customers,” Shaner said. “The competitive activity launched in response to our entry into the marketplace – while expected – has been unprecedented.”

However, some former customers said they changed grocery stores after Haggen increased pricing significantly. The customer base has fallen by almost 50 percent in some stores, one clerk said.

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Hey, empty out the store, put an indoor swimming pool in it! I gave 20 bucks to a Los Osos pool about 20 years ago I think, wheres all that money?

I certainly understand why, Haggens announced Friday plans to close 27 stores. I have shopped at Von’s in Paso Robles since 1985. Now that Haggens has taken over, my food bill has increased by at least 10 percent, the employees are not friendly nor are they knowledgeable. I will go elsewhere and return in a month or so to see if they have improved. I am open for suggestions as to where to shop.

Welcome to the real world, everything is going up, but remember the government tells us when they raise our taxes and fees that a a few percentage point increase isn’t a big deal.

Weren’t a lot of the employees the same ones when it was a Vons? Were they unfriendly and not knowledgeable then too?

Vallarta Supermarkets is looking at opening up in Paso Robles. That’s really going to be a big deal if it happens.

I wish Vallarta or FoodsCo. would open in SLO…

Boy, oh boy!!! If ever there is an example of how not to do an acquisition; then this has to be it. The whole story, as it all unfolds, should be a required course in business schools.

Haggens screwed it from day one. To believe a company could go from 18 stores in Washington/Oregon to 164 stores over most of the West almost boggles the imagination.

And to do it with a business model that relies on higher prices smacks of a management

that did not do its homework.

Now, people have been fired, changed from full-time to part-time, some stores will close,

very possibly others will also, And now management’s position is that they expected

fierce competition, but not to the degree seen. Good God, did they expect the other stores to just welcome them in with open arms and to raise their prices as well? Well,

things evidently don’t work that way.

Lastly, my guess is that most of the management at Haggens, including Mr. Shaner,

have been, or will be, very liberally compensated for their part in this whole fiasco.

In none of the press coverage to date has there been any mention of any ‘upper’

management bearing their share of this mess. And probably never will be – mahogany

row is safe. The little people and customers get creamed.

Heh, at first I thought you were going to write something like: First lesson of business: Stay away from California.

It would have been a fair statement if he had.

What Hassbens is trying to say is if there was no other store to buy your groceries at, you’d be have pay our prices as you’d have no alternatives. But because there was other stores in the area you chose them. Therefore “competition” killed us. Capitalism or greed and arrogance? Thanks bean counters for screwing hundreds, if not a thousand or so livelihoods. May your ass hairs smolder in Haites.

“competitive activity launched in response to our entry in the marketplace – while expected – has been unprecedented” Bulls**t. I just can’t pay 3x the F4L price for a can of beans even though I can afford to, and herein lies their miscalculation.

This has been an awful thing for the Los Osos employees we have come to know and befriend. They are all good people, and don’t deserve what Haggen has done to them. You can’t just come in and give us an average looking store with the same stuff as everywhere else, but charge more, it’s not going to work! We had a very strong feeling this might happen, and sure enough. So folks, time to get what you DO want to fill that space. Email those contacts and ask! We need something better, and different. I’m going to put in a plug here for “California Fresh Markets”, true local, and really neat stores. One in 5 Cities and Santa Ynez. True local products, real local people. Not “local” like Haggen or Ralphs means which usually means anywhere California. Our town is getting put back together and slowly transforming into something nicer, lets get a nice new store too that will stay and prosper.

Well if you liked the high prices at Haggen then you’ll be very happy with California Fresh, they also have high prices.

no worries, there is still ralphs. spent abit of time in our neighbor to the south and have to say there have a very cool Baywood area, with some warm and friendly new places to eat and drink, they are almost done with their sewer and now thinking about adding a recreation component to their community service district. in contrast to what morro bay is doing, stalling on a sewer project, paying millions to consultants and blowing up their parks and recreation department. while haggens might be closing, the rest of the town seems to have it going on!