Bashas' closing unprofitable Tempe grocery as lease expires - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

Bashas' closing unprofitable Tempe grocery as lease expires

Company offers employees jobs at other stores

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Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 12:29 pm | Updated: 5:47 pm, Fri Aug 5, 2011.

Bashas’ is closing a store in Tempe that’s no longer profitable and is facing an expiring lease. The store at the northeast corner of McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue will close Aug. 30, spokeswoman Kristy Nied said.

“We’re always evaluating our stores and looking at how sales are going and response from customers, but right now this is the only store I’m aware of that we’re closing,” Nied said.

The store’s 50 employees will be offered jobs elsewhere with the company, which includes AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City. The closure leaves the grocer with 129 stores.

The Chandler-based chain had more than 155 stores when it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and shuttered 24 unprofitable stores. A bankruptcy judge approved the company’s reorganization plan a year ago.

The soon-to-close store opened in 2001. It replaced a smaller store at the intersection’s southwest corner that opened in 1972.

Bashas’ will use the store’s relatively modern fixtures at other locations. The family owned chain is working to attract customers from competitors who have opened new stores or remodeled, vice president Edward Basha III told employees in a letter.

“We are working to remodel and upgrade existing locations in an effort to increase business,” Basha wrote.

Bashas’ increased business with changes to its produce section at the 48th Street and Warner Road store in Ahwatukee Foothills, Basha said. Also, the company plans improvements at its Dobson Road and Chandler Boulevard store.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much merchandise will remain at the Tempe store as it winds down operations, Nied said. The company doesn’t anticipate clearance sales.

“There aren’t any markdowns planned at this time,” Nied said. “As far as I understand, the inventory will be delivered to other stores with the equipment as well.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6548 or ggroff@evtrib.com

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