Some Albertsons and Vons grocery stores in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Carpinteria and Lompoc will be getting a new owner and a new name.
The stores’ owners, AB Acquisition LLC and Safeway Inc., announced recently that they have entered into agreements to sell 168 stores across eight states to four buyers.
Haggen, which is based in Bellingham, Wash., will purchase 146 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
The affected local Albertsons stores are at 2010 Cliff Drive and 3943 State St. in Santa Barbara plus Albertsons at 1500 North H St. in Lompoc.
Local Vons stores at 163 S. Turnpike Road near Goleta, 175 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta, and 850 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria also will become part of the Haagen chain.
The Haagen deal also includes stores in Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Ventura and Oxnard.
The full list of affected Albertsons stores is available by clicking here and Vons is available by clicking here.
Divestiture of these stores is part of the process to secure Federal Trade Commission clearance of the proposed merger of Albertsons and Safeway (owner of Vons stores).
Merger plans for Albertsons and Safeway were announced in March, and the deal is expected to close in January.
The deal means Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies, and from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees.
“With this pivotal acquisition, we will have the opportunity to introduce many more customers to the Haggen experience. Our Pacific Northwest grocery store chain has been committed to local sourcing, investing in the communities we serve, and providing genuine service and homemade quality since it was founded in 1933,” said John Caple, chairman of the Haggen board of directors and partner at Comvest Partners, a private investment firm that owns the majority of shares of Haggen.
“We will continue our focus on sourcing and investing locally even with this exciting expansion.”
After the transaction closes in early 2015, Haggen will convert all of the acquired Albertsons and Safeway stores to the Haggen banner in phases during the first half of the year.
All Albertson’s LLC and Safeway store employees will have the opportunity to become employees of Haggen as their individual stores are transitioned to Haggen, the company said.
Additionally, Haggen plans to retain the current store management teams, officials said.
“We warmly welcome these new employees and stores into the Haggen family. The stores are well run and very successful, thanks to the dedicated store teams,” said John Clougher, Haggen CEO, Pacific Northwest. “We want to retain these existing teams while allowing our growing company to build on their past successes. We plan to adopt the best practices of our new stores to offer a superior shopping experience for our valued customers in all of our stores.”
“We committed to this acquisition because we knew we had the experience, talent and drive to get it done,” Caple added. “The strength of our management and store support teams, combined with the talent of the store teams at each of the new store locations, will enable Haggen to be a successful West Coast grocer.”
Founded in 1933, Haggen, Inc. is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading grocery chains and supports regional farms, ranches, fisheries and other businesses. Company officials say Haggen is also deeply rooted in the communities it serves, providing support to local events and partnerships.
The purchase agreements with Haagen and three other buyers — purchasing stores in Texas, Wyoming, Montana and Washington — are all subject to approval by the FTC.
“We’re pleased to have found strong buyers for these stores, and to have completed this important step toward combining Albertsons and Safeway,” said Safeway President/CEO Robert Edwards, who will serve in the same roles with the combined company. “We look forward now to the transaction’s close, so we can begin working together to enhance the loyalty of grocery shoppers by delivering high-quality products, great service and lower prices to become the favorite local supermarket in every neighborhood we serve.”
— Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.