I read with interest the Viewpoint from my friend Kelly Tabares in the paper on Oct. 20 (“Stories from the grocery aisles”). First, I miss all my friends from Vons/Haggen. Kelly, Mark, Pete — the whole gang! Yes, over the years these folks were more than employees. We chatted, we visited, we shared. It was an enjoyable time to visit the market. Now ...
Anyone with an ounce of business sense could see what was bound to happen when a small, relatively local grocery store chain two states away thought it could expand from about 39 stores and add about 140 locations. It obviously did not do any due diligence! The official at Haggen who masterminded this fiasco was soon terminated. Yes, the prices were considerably higher than another market just a few blocks away. Haggen, in an attempt to adjust expenses, immediately began cutting employee hours and reducing staff. Filing for Chapter 11 was a foregone conclusion.
It is a sad day for our friends at what used to be Williams Bros., then Vons and then Haggen’s, and for the citizens of Los Osos, as well. Will another business move in and re-establish a market to be somewhat competitive to the only one in town? (I have no problem with Ralphs, but miss my friends!)
James Murphy, Los Osos