Yoke’s Foods Inc., of Spokane Valley, has purchased the recently shuttered Haggen grocery store at 1233 N. Liberty Lake Road, in Liberty Lake.
A U.S. bankruptcy judge approved the sale Nov. 24 as part of the sale of a large block of Haggen stores, including dozens of them to Albertsons. Bellingham-based Haggen Food & Pharmacy had filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in August.
John Orton, Yoke’s vice president of perishables and marketing, declined to comment on the purchase.
“We can’t do anything as of yet because not everything is final,” Orton said, adding that a formal statement from the company will be forthcoming.
The Haggen Liberty Lake store closed its doors on Monday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m.
The reopening of the 55,000-square-foot supermarket by Yoke’s would give the chain a total of 13 grocery stores across Eastern Washington, based on the number and locations of stores listed on the employee-owned company’s website.
Former employees at the Liberty Lake Haggen store say they were told not to comment about the store’s closing. Several remaining employees say they are hoping to secure employment at the Yoke’s store. An estimated 90 employees have been laid off, say some employees who didn’t wish to be identified.
Yoke’s Spokane-area stores are located in Airway Heights, Deer Park, Mead, and Spokane Valley. Two stores are located in Spokane city limits, at 3321 W. Indian Trail and 210 N. Foothills Drive. In Tri-Cities, Yoke’s has three stores.
In North Idaho, it operates stores in Kellogg and Sandpoint. The company’s corporate offices are located at 3426 S. University Road in Spokane Valley.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross, of Wilmington, Del., writes in his ruling that he didn’t find anything objectionable in the approval of the sale. The court documents didn’t list the sale amount.
Haggen Food & Pharmacy bought the building, which formerly had housed a Safeway store, in June. Safeway owned and operated the store there for 15 years. The Haggen chain bought almost 150 Albertsons and Safeway stores after those two companies merged, but then struggled to convert them to its brand.
In August, Haggen filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Albertsons, claiming the Boise-based company attempted to harm its business. Haggen then filed for bankruptcy and said it would close a number of stores.
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