Bashas’ takes over former City Market location
Doughnuts with decorative frosting, colorful cakes and bread stacked neatly around the bakery department appeals to Veronica Nakai’s appetite.
Nakai, a Bashas’ Diné Market associate, along with her co-workers, on July 20 helped transition the old City Market store, owned by the Kroger Co., into a Bashas’ Diné Market store.
The Bashas Family of Stores sent about 100 Bashas’ workers from across Arizona to support and help remove all the City Market brand items and clean, change the signs, and add fresh food and products with the Bashas’ logo.
The old City Market store officially closed its doors at 8 p.m. on Monday, July 19, and Bashas’ opened its doors at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21.
The transition was a big job for the Bashas’ Family of Stores and employees who wanted to ensure continued service for Shiprock and surrounding communities.
Reaching out to Bashas’
At the end of last year, an executive from Kroger reached out to Johnny Basha, and asked if he was interested in taking ownership of the 42,108-square-foot store location in Tsé Bit’a’í Shopping Center, located in Shiprock at the corner of U.S. Route 491 and Route 64.
“We said, ‘Absolutely,’” Ashley Shick, director of communications and spokesperson for Bashas’, said in an interview with the Navajo Times.
“We have nearly a forty-year history of serving different communities on the Navajo Nation,” she added. “And so, this was just another opportunity for us to come in, and help serve the community, and make sure some folks have access to fresh food and vegetables.”
The Kroger City Market opened the store in Shiprock in 1986.
But, because of current market conditions coupled with a changing retail environment, it was difficult for City Market to continue operating at this location, said Jessica Trowbridge, the corporate affairs manager for King Soopers and City Mart, in an email.
Transition to Bashas’
Bashas’ hired most of the City Market staff who worked at the location. They were given the option to transfer to other City Market stores but only a handful did.
Bashas’ plans to remodel the store within a year and half. But it wanted to serve the community by keeping it open so people have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Plus, 20% of proceeds will go back to local communities.
An official grand opening celebration will take place Saturday, Aug. 7, at 9 a.m. The first 300 people will receive a goody bag.
Bashas’ customers can expect to have their temperatures checked at the front door by a Bashas’ associate, and a mask is required.
Bashas’ will provide more shopping carts and cashiers are still getting use to the new cash registers.
Customers say the new store looks the same as the old City Market. They also say Bashas’ has more products and “it’s cleaner.”
“I really don’t think one way or another about it,” said Steve Hanson from Shiprock. “I am glad it’s open, I am glad it’s stocked – because the stock was reduced. We couldn’t get milk for a while, but now there’s plenty.”
Hanson said he’s a first-time Bashas’ shopper. He was at the new store on Sunday checking out the store’s transition.