The new Haggen signs on a grocery store in south Eugene and another in east Springfield soon may be coming down, to be replaced by Albertsons signs.
For the Eugene store, on Hilyard Street, that would be back to the future. It had been an Albertsons until a year ago, when Haggen bought 146 Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Pavilion stores.
As the financially swamped Haggen grocery chain looks to shed many of its stores during bankruptcy proceedings, Albertsons is shopping to buy back some locations, including the Hilyard Street spot. The Main Street location in Springfield, meanwhile, had been occupied by a Safeway until Haggen bought it.
Haggen, based in Bellingham, Wash., is auctioning 95 stores — many of which it bought from Albertsons and Safeway in December.
Haggen bought the stores in a bid to expand dramatically and become a regional grocery powerhouse, but then floundered, struggling to convert many of the stores to the Haggen brand. The grocery chain filed for bankruptcy protection in September.
Albertsons now is the baseline bidder for 36 of the stores in Washington, Oregon and Arizona that went to auction Monday.
Among the Haggen locations Albertsons is seeking to buy is its former store at 3075 Hilyard St., according to documents field with U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The opening bid for the Eugene store was $200,000.
Albertsons also is bidding for the 5415 Main St. spot, according to the records. The opening bid for the Springfield store was $1.
Both continue to operate as Haggen stores and are open daily.
Albertsons was required by the Federal Trade Commission to sell the stores to win approval to merge with Safeway last year.
Under that deal, Haggen in Lane County acquired the Hilyard Albertsons, the Springfield Safeway and the Albertsons on West 18th Avenue and Chambers Street in Eugene.
The West 18th Haggen has not been put up for auction.
In addition to the Hilyard and Main Street stores, the stores Haggen now has put up for auction in Oregon include seven in the Portland area, one in Keizer, one in Baker City and four in Southern Oregon.
The remainder of the stores for sale are in California, Arizona, Nevada and Washington.