Albertsons or Safeway — two arms of the same giant — will be the name above the door at a dozen Washington stores that Haggen auctioned off this week.
Albertsons was the winning bidder for 12 Washington stores that Bellingham-based Haggen auctioned off in bankruptcy court this week, according to court documents.
Six of those locations will be operated as Albertsons stores, and the rest will be Safeways — the other brand now under the Albertsons umbrella.
The stores were auctioned as part of Haggen’s massive retreat from the equally massive expansion launched when it acquired 146 West Coast stores that federal regulators required the merging Albertsons and Safeway to divest.
Safeway will be the name above the door at properties in Everett; Shoreline; Port Orchard; Spanaway, Pierce County; Gig Harbor and 4300 N.E. Fourth, Renton.
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Albertsons will be the brand for ex-Haggen stores in Puyallup; Milton, Pierce County; Burien (two stores); Monroe and 14215 S.E. Petrovitsky Road, Renton.
Yoke’s Foods won the bid for the store in Liberty Lake, Spokane County.
Haggen disclosed this week that it also plans to offer for sale its 32 “core” stores in the Pacific Northwest in a separate auction in January. The company and its private-equity backer, Comvest, may be among the bidders and could manage to hold on to those stores.
In Oregon, Albertsons was the winning bidder for four stores, and one in Beaverton went to Tawa, which operates 99 Ranch Markets.
Albertsons was also the winning bidder for 11 stores in California, three in Arizona and three in Nevada.
Other winning bidders in those states include Smart & Final Stores, Sprouts Farmers Market and Carnival Supermarket.
The sale of those 55 stores at auction, which still have to be approved by the bankruptcy court, fetched $47 million, according to a statement from Haggen late Friday. Including earlier stalking-horse bids by Gelson’s Markets and Smart & Final for $92 million that were approved by the court Friday, total proceeds from the auction will reach $139 million, Haggen said.
The prices fetched by each of the stores were not disclosed. But in an earlier document, Haggen reported that Albertsons’ starting bid for Haggen’s Northeast Fourth Street Street location in Renton was $1.7 million, while its opening offer for the First Avenue South store in Burien was $1.
In Washington, out of the 18 stores up for auction, five received no bids. Those stores are located in Federal Way; Aberdeen; Silverdale, Kitsap County; Bremerton and Tacoma.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International, the union representing a large portion of Haggen’s workers, said in a statement from the national office that it looks forward to working with Albertsons. It’s also looking to negotiate with other new owners to secure jobs for its members.
At least one of these new owners — Smart & Final, a California warehouse chain — has been described by union officials as hostile to organized labor.
UFCW 21, the union’s local arm, which represents Haggen’s workers in King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, said it is still “actively working to find buyers” for the stores within its jurisdiction that weren’t sold at auction.
UFCW21 said that local Albertson’s and Safeway stores are union stores.
“We hope there may be positive news about the other stores that had been auctioned but had no bid,” the union said in a statement.