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Gelson’s and Smart & Final step up to buy Haggen markets

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Photo: FLLewis / Media City G -- Haggen 3830 West Verdugo Avenue Burbank September 25,2015

Photo: FLLewis / Media City G — Haggen 3830 West Verdugo Avenue Burbank September 25,2015

Gelson’s and Smart & Final have signed agreements to purchase some of the soon-to-be closed Haggen supermarkets, according to a news release on the Haggen website today. However, the Haggen market at 3830 West Verdugo Avenue in Burbank is still in limbo. Haggen spokesperson, Deborah Pleva, told Media City Groove in an email: “We have no details on that location at this time.”

Gelson’s, a high-ended supermarket chain based in Encino, has an offer in for eight Haggen stores in Carlsbad, Del Mar, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Beach, La Jolla, Rancho Mirage, Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks. Established in 1951, Gelson’s currently runs 18 full-service specialty grocery stores in Southern California.  The discount chain, Smart & Final, is hoping to pick up 27 of the stores in California and one in Las Vegas.

Last month, Haggen filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy only a few months after launching an ambitious expansion plan that included the Southern California market. Then a week and a half ago, Haggen announced it would be unloading most of the 146 Albertsons and Safeway stores it purchased last December. Any deal must be approved by a bankruptcy court.

Haggen, based in Bellingham, Washington, plans to rebuild its struggling company around a group of 16 original stores, one stand alone pharmacy, and 21 stores acquired in the Albertsons transaction.

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6 Responses to Gelson’s and Smart & Final step up to buy Haggen markets

  1. DixieFlyer Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm #

    Some oldtimer’s will remember Gelson’s where Petco is today.

    Their fruit and vegetables were soooo good.

    As a kid growing up you could go to Gelsons to get a Huge Peach for your Mom on her Birthday!!!

    The employee’s were happy to help you pick one out, too.

  2. Fronnie Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 1:26 am #


    I would love to see Gelson’s return to Burbank.

  3. Al in SoCal Monday, October 12, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    The list that Gelson’s and S&F are interested in is out – and I didn’t see Burbank on it:

    Gelson’s is a little above my salary range .. but not sure what other stores there are out there to purchase the soon-to-be-empty store.

  4. Fronnie Monday, October 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm #


    Yes, I reported on the list of stores Gelson’s wants to buy in this post. However, it’s not a done deal and Gelson’s can still add more stores to its list. The deadline to submit bids for the unwanted Albertsons markets is November 2nd — with the official auction set for November 9. Also, another grocer still has time to put in a bid for the Burbank store.

  5. Al in SoCal Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 7:53 am #

    I didn’t realize that it was the FIRST Gelson’s in Burbank:

    “The first Gelson’s opened in Burbank in 1951. In recent years, the chain has faced increasing competition in the upscale grocery market space. Food industry analyst Phil Lempert says 2o or 30 years ago, Gelson’s was the envy of supermarket chains across the country. ”

  6. Al in SoCal Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

    While it doesn’t look like any of the Burbank stores got picked up – and we’re losing our Fresh & Easy stores – there is grocery news on the horizon – a couple of big international chains are coming:


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