After Four Store Closures in Orange County, Haggen Lets Go of 157 Employees

by San Antonio Attorney

Haggen, a Northwest-based grocer, laid off 157 workers related to four store closures, according to the Employment Development Department.

The grocer filed for bankruptcy last September and has since then closed off its branches in Tustin, Irvine and Mission Viejo.  The company’s objective is to gradually pull out its branches out of the region.  After Haggen attempted to reshape the company and engage in court filing under Chapter 11, the announcement of the plan to close the stores was announced last August.

Interested investors such as Gelson’s and Smart & Final submitted their bids in the bankruptcy court to purchase 36 stores from Haggen.

The potential buyers stated they are amenable to hiring some of the remaining Haggen employees.  Albertsons expressed their interest in hiring back hundreds of former employees.

Haggen isn’t the only grocer company to suffer from financial struggles in Southern California’s multibillion grocery market.  Fresh & Easy also verbalized their plans to liquidate and close all of its outlets.

Ralphs, another grocer, also shut down its store in Santa Ana the previous month.  This closure will cost 75 employees losing their jobs, according to notices filed with EDD.

However, Ralphs’ spokesperson Kendra Doyel expressed that the affected employees will be allocated to another company.

For the past few months, Ralphs’ affected outlets were located at E. Lincoln Ave. in Anaheim and a Tustin location on Irvine Boulevard.

The company opened 51 Ralph’s locations and eight Food 4 Less outlets located in Orange County last 2006.  Ralphs now has remaining 39 stores and five Food 4 Less locations.

Not all grocers led to financial difficulty though.  Gelson’s Markets and Smart & Final is rapidly expanding into the county and even Aldi and Grocery Outlet plan to fully establish their grocer empire in Orange County.

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