April has been a crazy, exciting, hectic month for us here at Haggen. As we move into May, we’d like to fill you all in on what we’ve accomplished and give you a glimpse into where we’re headed. It’s hard to believe it’s only been seven weeks since we opened our first Haggen in La Costa, Calif., on March 11, and now we’re at 39 opened stores.
Now, things haven’t gone perfectly. We’ve run into a few systems and logistical challenges, which is sometimes the case when you’re making history. But thanks to feedback from our guests and commitment by our store and support teams, we’ve responded and made many adjustments to get better. The changes we’re making to enhance our stores are exciting! During each conversion the stores are closed for 40 hours, so there’s only so much we can accomplish. Please understand we’re working hard and that it will take time to completely infuse the store with the full Haggen experience. But we think you’ll like what you see over the coming weeks and months.
We’re so committed to reaching the “Haggen experience” that we recently sent our first 24 store directors up to the Northwest to visit two ORIGINAL Haggen stores in Snohomish and Marysville, Wash. They got to see first-hand what the Haggen experience is all about – “healthy for you” products, genuine service, focus on quality Fresh offerings, and commitment to local. We’ve also held two focus groups to hear directly from our guests about their concerns, thoughts, and vision for Haggen.
So what’s next? Over the next 30-60 days we’ll continue to work hard on converting new stores and “Haggen-izing” our already converted stores. We’ll be introducing three-day weekend sales, signature items throughout the store, dedicated end caps for gluten-free, local and new items. Those are just some of the ways we’re working drive excitement and traffic into our stores.
We’re thrilled to be making not only a name but a home for ourselves in our new neighborhoods. We’re grateful for all of you who are joining us on this journey and trust we’re doing our best to please our guests. We value you, your family, and your friends, and we couldn’t do this without you.