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We continue to get comments about Haggen...

One MNB user wrote:

I was hopeful your “fave”, Burt Flickinger would have at least given you pause to perhaps consider another POV…Or perhaps Burt is correct as I believe.

Your statement about Clougher running the company from Washington State…boarders on ridiculous. Does Kroger have a CEO in all their regions? Last I knew, Haggen still had a regional office in SoCal with qualified people who do have a sense of the local market….Last I made the trip, Seattle to SoCal didn’t require much more than a health sports section.

I agree with Mr. Flickinger that “Aldi is a competitive nightmare”, but also a fair statement that Haggen’s number 1 target is not the Aldi shopper.

One last point of clarification. While Haggen clearly had/has challenges in the North, and many challenges ahead, with their downsizing to the legacy 18, those 18 are doing quite well and should not be confused with their acquisition stores.

Love your opinions, but happy to read Burt’s voice of reason.

Another MNB reader wrote:

I am what I like to call a Haggen Hostage and I wanted to a moment to thank you for your views on this horrible life changing catastrophe.

December 18, 2014 I was a happy top rated store director with almost 30 years at Safeway just minding my own 'business' when bam I got hit with the news I was sold with my store like chattel. I had no choice but, to try to make the best of it or find another job. My team is a strong team one of the best and so we stayed together. My store had a great volume and great profits before the Haggen takeover and they came in so arrogant refusing to listen to employees and customers. They had promised us before we opened the employees were vital to their success and they would always be put first. They lied. We opened then less then 90 days we were informed we are now closing. That is after 21 laid off employees three weeks prior.

Now my employees are left to uncertain future no guarantees of seniority, benefits, or retirement. Most are stellar senior employees with up to 34 years with Safeway. No one told them this could happen. I believe someone needs to fix this and make it right, but the truth must get out there. So if anything I believe your views are gentle and make Haggen and the whole situation not as bad as it truly is. Granted it is not all their fault a lot lies with the FTC and the union, but Haggen bears the most weight. You have had the most candor and I appreciate that I share them with all my fellow store directors and employees.

I hate to say it, but it just seems likely to me that you and your employees are screwed. (I'd use another word, but this is a family website...)

From another reader:

As a customer, I've just about had it with Haggen.  I've had too many issues of deficient food from the store-the majority of produce I've bought has had something wrong with it-moldy cherries, moldy tangerines, numerous black spots in artichokes, mushy melons.  I've had several instances of refrozen ice cream.  One steak had off odor.

The store just doesn't do enough volume to keep stuff fresh.  And I have doubts the produce supplier is really supplying first rate stuff (nothing I've bought there has been a cut above!).  It just doesn't seem competitive with other mainstream stores, let alone premium stores.

Anyway I don't have a lot of hope for them.  Wondering if Stater is interested in some locations?  Will be interesting to see what happens to the stores.

And another:

Can Haggen be successful in the Pacific Southwest?  Based on the constant barrage of negative press, the answer is in doubt. It has been reported that Haggen was “forced” to convert the new stores too quickly, and that actions taken by the company and its “partners” have led to the negative perception of the company.  For whatever reason, before going live, Haggen failed to build a positive brand image, awareness and strategy to deliver on their go-to-market promise of “Southwest Fresh and Local.”  As a result, Haggen now faces the far more difficult task of focusing on addressing its growing negative image, rather than improving its business. There are some positive steps that Haggen could be taking to ensure that they will be successful  in the future. Hopefully, it is not too late.

Alas, I fear it is.

And still another:

I can give you two examples why I do not shop at our local Haggen store.  After the takeover their Black Velvet Canadian whiskey was priced at 19.99$, regular retail price. Albertson price before the change was 13.99$, sometimes lower when it went on sale.  I checked the store recently and the price was the same except if you purchased 4, the price was reduced 10%.  I also buy mix, either 7-up or ginger ale.  The large bottle at Haggen is 1.99$ on sale for 1.69$.  At Stater Bros. nearby they sell the same bottles of mix for 69 cents if you buy four. Their price for Black Velvet is 12.99$ on sale for 11.99$ I have other examples as well as my neighbors do, which is why very few are shopping at Haggen.  I have used this example in an email to Haggen.  They did not respond and the prices have not changed as far as I know but I haven’t been there in awhile.
KC's View: