Haggens files $1 billion lawsuit against Albersons

September 1, 2015

Haggen 2By KAREN VELIE

Haggen, a Washington-based chain of grocery stores, filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking more than $1 billion in damages against Albertsons.

In Dec. 2014, Haggen bought 146 Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Safeway stores. Shortly after the purchase, many of the stores customers left after prices skyrocketed and previously stocked items were no longer available.

In August, Haggen announced plans to close 27 stores

According to the lawsuit, Albertsons provided Haggen with false, misleading and incomplete retail pricing data causing Haggen stores to unknowingly inflate prices. Haggen also accuses Albertsons of deliberately understocking certain items, overstocking perishable stock and cutting of advertising for the Haggen acquired stores.

“Albertsons sought out Haggen in order to convince the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that Haggen would be a new competitor in local markets, which enabled Albertsons to gain the FTC’s approval of a merger between Albertsons and Safeway,” the suit says.

Haggen contends Albertsons engaged in an illegal campaign against Haggen including “premeditated acts of unfair and anti-competitive conduct that were calculated to circumvent Albertsons obligations under federal antitrust laws, FTC orders, and contractual commitments to Haggen. all of which were intended to prevent and delay the successful entry of Haggen (or any other viable competitor) into local grocery markets that Albertsons now dominates.”

In June, Haggen laid off dozens of Central Coast workers while other employees were moved from full-time to part-time hours. Haggen addresses the layoffs in its lawsuit.

“Haggen has had to focus on strategies to recover from Albertsons’ wrongful acts, which include, sadly, Haggen’s efforts to find new jobs for displaced employees who too are victims of Albertsons’ actions,” according to the suit

In July, Albertsons filed a suit alleging Haggen failed to pay for more than $36 million for merchandise that was included in the sale.


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41 Comments

  1. r0y says:

    Well, late Tuesday night (Sept. 8th) Haggen Filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. I hope they can recover from it.

    (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  2. Lilylu says:

    I am very price conscious and am always looking for the best deal. Living in Templeton, I do just fine by doing most of my shopping at Grocery Outlet in Atascadero, Food 4 Less in Atascadero, an occasional trip to Smart and Final in Paso Robles and Trader Joe’s in Templeton. The only time I ever go to Albertson’s, Von’s or Haggen’s is if they have a really good price on meat or produce that is a loss leader and there is no minimum purchase. It’s amazing how little we spend on food and we eat very well!

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
  3. achillesheal says:

    Unionized grocery stores going bankrupt due in part to high labor costs. What a surprise.

    (-1) 9 Total Votes - 4 up - 5 down
  4. Paso_citizen says:

    Isn’t America great? Where else can 2 parties get PO’d at each other and file lawsuits
    against each other claiming all sorts of wrongdoings?

    And the only ones that win will be the lawyers for both parties. In this case, the consumer that buys food at one (or both) of these fine establishments will continue to be
    screwed.

    What a country!!!!!!!

    (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
  5. Otis says:

    Caveat emptor

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  6. surferdude says:

    Arroyo Grande is a food DESSERT.

    I’m doing most my shopping at JJs on the hill and California Fresh.

    Vons is so crowded and has been proclaimed the winner in the Haggens debacle.

    I mean really… they went from a chain the size of Williams Brothers to a Safeway….

    We do not need a boutique grocer – we need one will reasonable prices.

    We need Spencer’s to return to the Elm and Grand old Williams Brothers site!

    Every week it’s the big question… where do I buy food

    (19) 21 Total Votes - 20 up - 1 down
    • panflash says:

      Excuse me- but I just have difficulty trying to imagine AG as a dessert- any kind of dessert.

      Appetizer, perhaps- but definitely not a dessert.

      (21) 25 Total Votes - 23 up - 2 down
      • SanSimeonSam says:

        their seams to have ben a misteak in the use of the word. AG is much moor of an horse doers than a dessert

        (7) 13 Total Votes - 10 up - 3 down
      • achillesheal says:

        I think suferdude means desert (like the sahara) rather than dessert (ice cream).

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  7. hijinks says:

    Pox on both of them. However, regarding Haggen’s allegation of deceptive pricing information by Albertson’s, I do recall them saying upon their arrival here that their pricing would be between Vons (the highest priced supermarket) and Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck), which made me scratch my head a bit it was so weird. So they clearly did intend to raise prices from those of Albertsons (mid-range, higher than Ralphs, lower than Vons).

    (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
  8. birddogpatsy says:

    Oh bother, sounds exactly like what two overpriced companies would do… try and get money out of one another! Haggen is known in WA state for being expensive, so why would it be any different here? They were hoping we’d fall for it, I’m glad not all of us have. Haggen, stop playing the blame game, get real, and you might be ok. My new slogan for them…. “Hello Haggen, good bye wallet!”

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.