SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The troubled Haggen supermarket chain that took over numerous Albertsons and Vons stores earlier this year across San Diego County announced Thursday it is pulling out of the California and southwest markets.

The chain, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will realign and focus on 37 stores in the Pacific Northwest.

Haggen is asking a bankruptcy court for approval in conducting the store closings. Most employees will receive a 60 day notice and will continue to receive their pay and benefits during the regular course of business.

According to The Seattle Times, this plan demonstrates a pullback from southern California, Arizona and Nevada, where it expanded this year after buying 146 grocery stores from Albertsons and Safeway.

The store chain announced Friday, August 14 that it would close or sell 27 outlets, including six in San Diego County. The local locations were San Marcos on Rancho Santa Fe Road; El Cajon on Fletcher Parkway; La Mesa on Lake Murray Boulevard; San Ysidro on West San Ysidro Boulevard; and Chula Vista stores on Third Avenue and Telegraph Canyon Road.

By acquiring stores that were divested by Albertsons and Safeway, the owner of Vons, Haggen expanded from 18 stores with 16 pharmacies and 2,000 employees in the Pacific Northwest to 164 stores and 106 pharmacies employing more than 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.