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Haggen asks court for permission to close 100 stores, including 14 in Washington

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SEATTLE -- Financially struggling grocer Haggen Inc. asked a bankruptcy court Thursday for permission to close 100 stores, including all of its stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.

According to the Seattle Times, Haggen filed documents in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in which it says it wants to close 14 stores in Washington.

Those stores to be closed are in Aberdeen, Liberty Lake, Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, Tacoma, Monroe, Silverdale, Burien, Bremerton, Milton, Everett, Shoreline, and Renton.

Haggen recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after it mounted a massive expansion earlier this year; it paid an estimated $1.4 billion for 146 grocery stores from Albertsons and Safeway after their merger.

Before it bought those stores, the Bellingham-based Haggen had only 18 locations.

The Times said that, according to court documents, Haggen employs 5,140 people in California, Nevada and Arizona, where it’s closing all of its stores, and more than 3,700 in Washington and Oregon.

Workers in the stores to be closed will get a 60-day notice, and all stores will remain open throughout that period, Haggen said.

The Los Angeles Times said Haggen plans to keep 37 stores in Washington and Oregon.

"Although this has been a difficult process and experience, we will remain concentrated in the Pacific Northwest where we began," Haggen CEO John Clougher said, according to the L.A. Times.