SAN DIEGO – Haggen grocery stores have been popping up all over San Diego County since earlier this year, yet on Tuesday the chain’s CEO admitted they’re struggling, the Union Tribune reported.
The grocery chain CEO Bill Shaner marketed the stores as a one-stop shop for brand-name staples offering fresh, natural and local food options. It classifies itself as a supermarket ranging somewhere between a VONS and Whole Foods. The chain has opened 25 stores in the county in 2015, according to the newspaper.
Shaner admitted to the Union Tribune that their efforts to grow a customer base has been challenging due to competing grocery stores’ advertising.
“The competitive activity launched in response to our entry into the marketplace – while expected – has been unprecedented,” he said. “To ensure we’re operating as efficiently as possible, we have made the very difficult decision to temporarily cut back on staff hours at our stores. Reductions will vary by store and will be made in the best interest of the business, our associates, and our guests.”
The Union-Tribune reported Haggen got off to a rough start in March when their food prices were marked higher than expected – due to a computer glitch. Haggen corrected the issue, but it didn’t curb shoppers from complaining about it on social media.