Haggen opens in California, names expansion team


BELLINGHAM, Wash. — As burgeoning food retailer Haggen charts a path of expansion across the West Coast, the company is also making some key executive moves to support its growth in the Southwest.

The grocery chain Haggen named the first five senior members of its Pacific Southwest leadership team this week:

  • Wendy Oliver, SVP, Operations. A former Vice President of the Southern California Division of Albertsons

  • Chris Linskey, SVP, Marketing. A veteran of Vons, Linskey was most recently EVP, Sales, with Intelligent Clearing Network after working for Valassis and Catalina Interactive.

  • Rich Winters, VP, Fresh foods. He was formerly VP of Sales and Business Development for Sun Pacific, Pasadena, Calif., and, before that, VP, Retail Merchandising and Marketing, for the Northern California Division of Safeway.

  • Jaime Prager, VP, Center Store, who was formerly Director of Hispanic Category Management for Smart & Final, Los Angeles

  • Melina Ranii, VP, Human Resources, formerly Director of Recruitment and Development for Trader Joe’s in Monrovia, Calif.

“Each of our leaders has extensive experience in the grocery business as well as professional and personal connections to the Southern California marketplace,” said Bill Shaner, Haggen CEO Pacific Southwest. “You couldn’t ask for a stronger group to lead our historic rollout of 100 stores in 100 days.”

Haggen is in the process of converting 100 former Albertsons and Safeway stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada to its own brand, with five conversions in the San Diego area and six stores scheduled for this month. These stores are the first of 83 California stores Haggen plans to acquire and convert to the Haggen brand in the first half of 2015. Once the acquisition is completed, the Oregon-based grocery chain will expand from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies to 164 stores with 106 pharmacies.

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