Just over a year after changing a Foothill Boulevard storefront to Haggen Food & Pharmacy, Albertsons has moved back into the location.
The ownership change happened at the start of the month and came about after Pacific Northwest-based Haggen filed for bankruptcy last September and closed all but 37 of the 146 Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions and Albertsons stores it had purchased about 150 days earlier. The remaining Haggen stores are in Washington and Oregon.
Albertsons acquired Safeway in January 2015 and had to divest some of its stores at the time as part of a court order, including the Tujunga site at 6240 Foothill Blvd., where many La Crescenta residents shopped.
However, a bankruptcy court judge allowed Albertsons to buy back some stores last November. A few other rival grocers also bought former Haggen stores.
“Our goal is to be the favorite, local, full-service supermarket for our customers, and we are confident we’ll achieve that by focusing on running really great stores,” said Carlos Illingworth, spokesman for the grocery chain.
Jean Maluccio, a board member with the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, said she’s glad local shoppers will continue to have multiple grocery stores from which to choose.
“My opinion is it gives the community a lot more options — it’s good to have more than a few markets,” she said.
Maluccio added the Albertsons is also larger than its nearby subsidiary, Vons, located about a mile east on Foothill.
"[The Albertsons] is bigger than the Vons. It has a lot more products,” she said.
Albertsons is taking advantage of the store’s size, Illingworth said.
“Leveraging the best of Albertsons and Vons, we have rolled out several merchandising enhancements and integrated successful strategies from one banner to the other,” he said.
Some employees who previously worked for Albertsons before Haggen took over were hired back, Illingworth added.
Calvin Chock, the chamber’s board president, said he’s pleased the Haggen site wasn’t left vacant for long.
“We don’t have too many empty buildings on Foothill, and we don’t need to start that,” he said.
Arin Mikailian, email@example.com