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Haggens: New Store, Fresh Produce, Familiar Faces

09 May 2015  
Haggen is coming to the Prescott area, and by all appearances, will fit quite nicely into the community. 

For one thing, just like “Prescott," there may be some confusion in how to pronounce the new store's name. Try “hay-gunn” and you’ll get it right. 

Haggen is a West Coast regional grocery chain, which purchased 146 Safeway and Albertson’s grocery stores in the Western United States, including the two Albertson’s in Prescott and Prescott Valley. Now comes the fun part: Changing the look and feel of Albertson’s to the Haggen brand. 

Haggen representatives explained in a press release, "Once the acquisition is completed, Haggen will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies; from 2,000 employees to more than 10,000 employees; and from a Pacific Northwest company with locations in Oregon and Washington to a major regional grocery chain with locations in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.”

The store conversions take about 40 hours each, using 100 people. Starting in March, between one and twelve stores will be converted each week, finishing up in June.

It’s a big job. Take a peek at this time-lapse video of a recent store conversion to see the process:

Schedule for Prescott and Prescott Valley

174 E Sheldon in Prescott
  • 6:00 pm, Sunday, May 31 – Prescott Albertsons store closes
  • 12:01 am, Monday, June 1 – Haggen takes ownership and begins conversion
  • Tuesday afternoon June 2 – Store opens as Haggen
 
7450 E Highway 69 in Prescott Valley
  • 6:00 pm, Tuesday, June 2 – Prescott Valley  Albertsons store closes
  • 12:01 am, Wednesday, June 3 – Haggen takes ownership and begins conversion
  • Thursday afternoon June 4 – Store opens as Haggen
  • NOTE: The pharmacy will remain open during the conversion starting late morning June 3

 

What happens to the employees?

Expect to see the same familiar faces you’ve often known for many years, as the employees have been “invited to become Haggen employees.” According to the Phoenix Journal, the management structure will also stay the same. 

Bill Shaner, CEO

“We’re proud to continue employing all the wonderful associates our customers look for when they shop and offering shoppers the essential items they need, specialty items they want, and locally relevant items that reflect the community,” added  Bill Shaner, Haggen CEO Pacific Southwest.

So, what’s the difference?

Haggen prides itself on enhanced, fresh offerings, homegrown quality and affordable prices. 

“We’re excited about the changes we’re making to enhance these stores with more locally sourced food offerings, genuine service and homemade quality, and we’re confident customers will like the new look, convenience and value offered at our new Haggen one-stop, full-service grocery destinations,” said Shaner. “Haggen has built its 81-year-old business on providing excellent fresh produce and high quality meats and seafood. That focus will definitely be reflected in each of the 100 stores we’re opening in California, Nevada and Arizona, introducing shoppers to Haggen’s unique mix of healthy, hassle-free offerings.”

Shaner told the Phoenix Journal that customers can expect a hybrid of a conventional grocery store such as Albertsons, with “...a little bit of Whole Foods, a little bit of Sprouts, a little bit of Trader Joe's, a little bit of whatever the gourmet markets are…”

While Haggen typically uses locally sourced products, it will take some time to find local growers, distributors and suppliers. Likely it will take anywhere from six to twelve months to get their supplies established. In the meantime, much of the produce will be sourced from the Unified Grocers out of Commerce, California. 

Don’t expect to see gimmicky things like Monopoly games or customer cards. Kris Ellenberg, a spokesperson for Haggen explained, "Our goal is to remove the hassle from shopping, such as making customers jump through hoops for offers, needing to carry around a card to enjoy savings, or playing games. Overall you’ll see us take a simpler approach. No cards, no gimmicks. We want customers to have a hassle-free experience, with straightforward offerings.”

Do expect to see a LOT of new products - over 30,000 in fact. Ellenberg cited the following examples:We're changing out thousands of tags (in the neighborhood of 30,000). Examples of new items include:

    1. Center Store: More specialty, natural, "healthy for you" options (e.g., Alaffia Natural Health & Beauty items)
    2. Floral: Fresh cut flowers from local growers in So Cal
    3. Produce: Enhanced selection on Organic with increased item variety and selection
    4. Meat: Grass fed and RR choice beef, Natural pork, Free range chicken
    5. Deli: Great assortment of fresh, house-made salads. Outstanding offering of meats and cheese
    6. Bakery: Local, fresh, full and abundant
 
 
 
 

What about weekly sales?

Darcy Hagin, another spokesperson for Haggen explained that they offer weekend Fresh Deals.  According to Hagin, "Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, shoppers at new Haggen stores throughout California, Arizona and Nevada will enjoy three-day sales with discounts on popular items across each department. Check Haggen social feeds every Friday to see what new Fresh Deals will be offered throughout each weekend.”

 

Company tagline? 'Hello Haggen, Goodbye Hassle.'

When asked what the community should know about the new store coming to town, Ellenberg replied, "At Haggen, our goal is to provide a unique, hassle-free shopping experience. We offer essential items guests need, specialty items guests want, and local items that reflect the community – all at fair, competitive prices. We like to think of ourselves as a full-line grocery store with a bias toward fresh, quality, organic, local, and “healthy for you” options, so that guests can do all their shopping with us instead of traveling to multiple stores. Overall we’re excited about the changes we’re making to enhance our stores, even though there’s only so much we can accomplish in the 40 hours we’re closed. It will take time to completely infuse the store with the full Haggen experience. We make certain immediate changes with our opening – branding and décor changes, as well as enhanced offerings in our Fresh departments such as Produce and Meat/Seafood. But it is a journey, as we like to say, so you can expect to see continued improvements over the upcoming weeks, months and year.”

If you go:

Prescott

What: Albertson’s transformation into Haggen

When: Tuesday, June 2

Time: Around 4 PM, earlier if possible

Where: 174 E. Sheldon St., Prescott

Prescott Valley

What: Albertson’s transformation into Haggen

When: Thursday, June 4

Time: Around 4 PM, earlier if possible

Where: 7450 E Highway 69, Prescott Valley, 

Consider this the soft opening - Haggen will hold grand opening celebrations at a yet-to-be-announced date.

Haggen online: Haggen.com | Facebook.com/haggensouthwest | twitter.com/haggenfood | instagram.com/haggenfood

 

 

 

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Lynne LaMaster