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Former Safeway, Smart & Final And Trader Joe’s Execs Join Haggen Pacific SW

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In addition to Haggen Pacific Southwest CEO Bill Shaner, SVP of Operations Wendy Oliver and SVP of Marketing Chris Linskey, Haggen now has several other senior executives to help lead the rollout of the Haggen brand in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona.

• Rich Winters is VP of fresh foods. He formerly was VP of sales and business development for Sun Pacific in Pasadena and, prior to that, VP of retail merchandising and marketing for the Northern California division of Safeway.

• Jaime Prager is Haggen Pacific Southwest’s VP of center store. Prager previously was director of Hispanic category management for Smart & Final of Los Angeles.

• Melina Ranii is VP of human resources. Ranii formerly was director of recruitment and development for Trader Joe’s in Monrovia, California.

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

Bellingham, Washington-based Haggen is rapidly expanding after acquiring nearly 150 stores throughout the Albertsons-Safeway divestiture; many of the stores are in the  company’s newly formed Pacific Southwest Division.

Haggen opened its first Southern California store on March 11 at 7660 El Camino Real in Carlsbad, followed by two additional stores in El Cajon, at 13439 Camino Canada and 1608 Broadway Street, on March 18. Two San Diego stores opened Thursday at 730 Turquoise Street and 2235 University Avenue. Another location at 360 East H Street in Chula Vista is slated to open Sunday.

Haggen will open its first store in Los Angeles County on Tuesday at 5038 W Avenue North in Palmdale and also debut its Orange County location at 30922 South Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. On March 31, the grocer will open its first two stores in Kern County at 7900 White Lane and 3500 Panama Lane in Bakersfield, as well as its first San Bernardino location at 4200 Chino Hills Parkway, Suite 400, in Chino Hills.

These stores are among the first of 83 California stores Haggen plans to convert to the Haggen brand in the first half of 2015. Seven Nevada stores and 10 Arizona stores will be the last to convert in late spring. Each week, between one and 12 stores are being converted.

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