Takeover of 3 Tucson grocery stores by Haggen just days away
The Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen is growing by leaps and bounds, having acquired 146 stores in five states as a result of Albertsons' recent swallowing up of Safeway. Three of those stores are in Tucson — two East Side Safeways and the West Side Albertsons.
Haggen — it's pronounced "hay-gun"; rhyming with Reagan — will rebrand the local stores over about two days next week. They will close Thursday evening, May 28, and reopen that Saturday afternoon.
The Tucson stores affected by the deal are:
- Safeway, 8740 E. Broadway
- Safeway, 10380 E. Broadway
- Albertsons, 1350 N. Silverbell Rd.
The pharmacies at the Albertsons and the farthest east Safeway are expected to reopen in late morning, May 29.
Haggen, an upscale grocery often compared to Whole Foods (if slightly less costly), is also in the process of taking over Arizona stores in Scottsdale, Anthem, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Lake Havasu City, and Flagstaff.
Prior the the purchase, the chain had only 18 stores in Oregon and Washington. The deal, prompted by regulatory concerns in Albertsons $9.2 billion merger with Safeway, had Haggen buy 146 of the 168 stores divested by the grocery giants. The expansion means Haggen's workforce will grow from 2,000 to about 10,000, with 164 stores throughout the West.
Haggen was family-owned from its 1933 founding until 2011, when a majority interest was handed over to private investment firm Comvest Partners. Albertsons, now the second-largest grocery chain in the nation following its takeover of Safeway, is owned by Cerberus Capital Management.
Haggen officials have said they intended to offer current employees of those stores the chance to work for the new owners as part of the transition.
Albertsons has not detailed any plans to rebrand Safeway stores in Arizona.