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The Oregonian reports that Haggen management is confirming what has been widely reported all week (including here on MNB last Monday) - that "just months after it took over dozens of stores in California, Arizona and Nevada as part of an unprecedented expansion, Washington-based grocery chain Haggen is laying off hundreds of employees in those states and reducing many workers from full-time to part-time status."

The reason is that Haggen - which added 146 stores to its 18-unit fleet when it acquired supermarkets that had to be divested because of the Albertsons acquisition of Safeway - seems unable to get traction in the new markets, at least in part because of what it calls "unprecedented" activity by competitors. Haggen management says it plans to bring back all the employees and their hours once things get back to normal.

The story says that Haggen doesn't plan any layoffs or reductions in its original Pacific Northwest stores.

The Orange County Register is reporting that a union that represents Haggen workers is filing a grievance on behalf of the full-time staffers who were reduced to part time because the "arbitrary reduction" violates their contract. And the San Bernardino County Sun reports that a regional union will also be filing grievances in cases where Haggen has allegedly violated its contract with the union.
KC's View:
What a mess.

I hate to say it, but I am extremely dubious that things ever will get back to normal. The competition that has been unprecedented in its actions now can smell blood in the water ... and they're going to keep attacking.

The lesson here is from Jaws: it strikes me as almost inarguable that Haggen went into this with not nearly a big enough boat. They had lots of stores, sure, but mass is only part of the equation. You have to have the right strategy, tactics, vision, people, technology and ability to implement ... and there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence that it did.