The trouble for Haggen began with Albertsons’ acquisition of Safeway, announced in March 2014.
December 2014: Haggen, with 18 grocery stores and 16 pharmacies in Washington and Oregon, announces it will buy 146 Safeway and Albertsons stores in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona. The value of the deal is later put at $300 million. The Federal Trade Commission had required the stores’ divestiture as a condition of the $9.2 billion Albertsons-Safeway merger because the deal otherwise would likely lead to anti-competitive conditions in certain markets.
January 2015: The Albertsons acquisition of Safeway is complete.
February: Haggen takes control of the 146 stores and begins to re-brand them.
June: Haggen complains to Albertsons that the seller has not met training and technological obligations.
July: Albertsons sues Haggen for $40 million, saying Haggen failed to pay for inventory. Haggen begins cutting worker hours and lays hundreds off.
August: Haggen announces it will sell 27 stores, most of them acquired in the deal with Albertsons — in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
September: Haggen sues Albertsons for $1 billion, alleging it was deceived and that Albertson sabotaged the transition of the stores’ ownership. Haggen also files for bankruptcy and announces that it will sell about 100 more stores, including locations in Everett and Monroe which it acquired from Albertsons.
November: Haggen seeks permission from federal regulators to sell even its “core stores” — successful Northwest locations around which the bankrupt company had previously planned to reorganize. Albertsons wins the right to buy 12 stores.
February: The auction of Haggen’s core stores, originally set for Jan. 8, is pushed back three separate times.
March: Haggen announces that it has accepted Albertsons’ $106-million offer to buy 29 of its remaining stores. The agreement is approved by a bankruptcy court March 29. Three more stores are set to close. Albertsons announces plans to keep 15 of its new stores as Haggens, and create a separate business unit for them to be run independently from Bellingham.