Bashas closing 5 grocery stores, 3 in the Valley

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Customers, businesses concerned

PHOENIX -- Food City shoppers are disappointed to hear their neighborhood store is closing.

Mike Manquero is one of those shoppers.

"It's real convenient because of all the housing around here."

In Mesa, loyal Bashas shoppers will have to change their habits.

They call the closing stores 'quick and convenient'.

"Mainly because it's not a large store and doesn't have a ton of different products" says Rachel Krouse.

Bj Cecil agrees. "We can get it real quick - in and out."

The closings may be inconvenient for shoppers, but the thought of an empty anchor store has others in the plaza downright scared.

Gaylene Roberts is worried.

"Well it's gonna hurt our business!"

Because owners of Papa Murphy's Pizza and other businesses depend on shoppers lured in by the soon-to-be-closed Bashas.

"The worst possible thing would be if nothing moved in," says Roberts.

Neighboring businesses are scared of the domino effect down the road. But Bashas employees are feeling the impact now.

Luis Espinosa of the UFCW Local 99 says employees "are certainly upset."

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union represents some of the 350 Bashas workers laid off earlier this week.

"So far our understanding is no one's getting severence, which we think is unfair."

Company officials say they're trying to transfer workers in the closing stores to avoid further layoffs.

The Basha's Family of Stores consists of Food City, AJ's Fine Foods, Basha's Grocery stores and Ike's Farmers Markets.

2 of the stores that will be closing are Basha's in Mesa, the third is a Food City in Phoenix. The other 2 closures are a Food City in San Luis and an Ike's Farmers Market in Oro Valley.