Haggen showers shoppers in the Pacific Northwest with salmon, coffee, and other essentials. The area's largest independent grocer, Haggen operates nearly 30 combination supermarkets throughout Washington and Oregon. Most upscale Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores feature specialty departments, while the TOP Food & Drug outlets emphasize savings; however, both may offer such amenities as Starbucks coffee shops, Blockbuster video outlets, or child-care centers. To keep up with the Joneses of supermarket fortune, Haggen partnered with ShopEaze.com (an e-commerce service provider), which failed, leaving Haggen without an online store. In 2011 private equity firm Comvest acquired a majority stake in the chain.
Change in Company Type
Florida-based Comvest Partners purchased control of the company from brothers and co-chairmen Don and Rick Haggen, who retained minority ownership and their seats on the grocery chain's board. Comvest said it targeted Haggen for its first-rate customer service and product selection, noting that the supermarket chain is expected to continue operating as an independent entity.
Haggen's stores rang up an estimated $620 million in sales in 2011, compared with about $682 million the prior year. Haggen's supermarket count fell to 28 in 2011 from 31 in 2010.
In 2012 Haggen rebranded a 63,000-square-foot former TOP Food & Drug store in Bellevue, Washington under the Haggen "Northwest Fresh" banner. The new "Northwest Fresh" theme emphasizes local products, new service departments and departments named after local geographic references. The supermarket chain is rebannering all 15 of its TOP stores under the Haggen name and new theme, to reinforce its local roots and differentiate itself from its national competition.
Following the change in control of Haggen, CEO Jim Donald resigned and was succeeded by Clarence Gabriel, a former executive with Albertsons and PepsiCo.
Haggen traces its roots back to 1933, when Ben Haggen, alongside his wife, Dorothy, and brother-in-law, Doug Clark, launched the Economy Food Store in Bellingham, Washington, with a combined investment of $1,100. They later moved and changed the name to White House Market before moving to yet another location in 1957 and adopting the name Haggen's Thriftway. – less