Haggen has received the green light to sell off 33 of its remaining “core stores” in an upcoming auction early next year.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain approved the bidding procedures for the auction last Friday. The auction will take place on Friday, February 5, 2016, about a month later than was originally announced in early November.
Unlike Haggen’s non-core store auction in November, this group of stores will be sold in one block. Haggen must establish and negotiate a deal with a stalking-horse bidder before Thursday, January 21. After the initial bid, other interested and qualified buyers can submit an offer for the stores.
These 33 stores, located in Washington and Oregon, represent Haggen’s most valuable locations and include at least 16 of its original stores. According to the Bellingham Herald, the retailer announced in a statement that it expects these stores to attract many interested buyers.
“The Haggen group of core stores is well run with great staff and is located in great communities,” the company said. “As a group they are profitable. Because of this, we know there will be strong interest in our stores as a group. Our stores are staffed and stocked to high standards and we are well prepared to offer a great store experience for our guests during this time.”
Below is a list of the core stores that Haggen said it would put up for auction, including the newly added Eugene, Oregon store.
So, does this mean Haggen is no more? Not necessarily. Until a buyer has been announced, it is unknown whether or not the Haggen name will remain. An investor or buyer could purchase these core stores with the intention of keeping the brand, or they could convert the stores and effectively bring an end to Haggen.