Update: Haggen confirmed the deal in a news release Friday.
Albertsons is preparing to gobble up more stores from Haggen, but not the shuttered locations in Siverdale or East Bremerton.
According to reports from several news sources, the grocery giant is finalizing a deal to acquire Haggen’s remaining “core stores,” which include the original Haggen stores in Whatcom County. (The Oregonian posted a full list.)
The list of stores being sold does not include former Haggen locations in Silverdale or East Bremerton, which were designated as “non-core stores.”
Haggen already sold off most its non-core stores — including one in Port Orchard — during bankruptcy auctions last fall. The stores in Silverdale and East Bremerton didn’t sell. Both closed in late November and remain empty.
Haggen has not responded to my requests for information about plans for its discarded Kitsap locations.
The grocer owns the property off Wheaton Way in East Bremerton. It leased the Bucklin Hill Road space in Silverdale from a real estate investment group.
If Albertsons does buy Haggen’s core business, it will add another twist to an already improbable retail saga.
A year ago Haggen, a small, Bellingham-based chain, acquired 146 stores from Albertsons and Safeway as the mega grocers finalized a merger agreement. The FTC required the sale to prevent the combined Albertsons/Safeway chain from gaining monopolies in some markets.
Albertsons bought back many of its old stores from Haggen last fall, including the Port Orchard location, which will reopen as a Safeway sometime this year (an opening date has not been released).
Now Albertsons is poised to absorb the remainder of Haggen’s crumbling empire.