Something I’ve been busy with is trying to figure out what changes, if any, have been taking place at Bellingham-based Haggen. The grocery chain currently has 33 stores in Washington and Oregon.
There have been plenty of rumors floating about and they’ve been intensifying in the past week, based on the e-mail and phone messages I’ve been receiving. The rumors I’ve most commonly heard include significant job layoffs, selling the company and/or closing some stores.
Spokespeople at Haggen have chosen not to comment, saying they don’t respond to rumors. Since Haggen is a privately held company, they are not obligated to talk about company matters, unlike a publicly-held company (with shareholders) or a government entity.
One thing a large company like Haggen is obligated to do is file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) document with the state of Washington if they have a large (more than 50 people) number of layoffs at one location. To date, they haven’t filed a WARN document. It’s my understanding that a WARN document doesn’t need to be filed if there are layoffs at a variety of locations within the company. Also, the selling of stores to another company would usually provoke an annoucement, either from the buyer or the seller, and that hasn’t happened.
So that’s where things stand at the moment. If you have some information you want to pass along, comment here or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can call my direct line at 715-2269. Thanks!