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Bashas’ yesterday unveiled a new state-of-the-art concept store in Fountain Hills, Ariz., that it refers to as “a contemporary neighborhood store with a fresh appearance,” complete with a gelato bar, Wi-Fi-equipped customer lounge, organic and natural food choices, and a Cub House center for children while mothers shop.
The store, which will open March 31, was completely rebuilt at the location of a previously closed Bashas’. “During the last 77 years, we’ve opened a lot of stores,” said Johnny Basha, vice chairman of the Chandler, Ariz.-based grocer. “We’ve closed a few, too. But it’s rare for us to close a store and rebuild a completely new store in the same spot. When this new store opens, we believe that the Fountain Hills community will agree that it was worth the wait.”
In 1974, Bashas’ was the first grocer to serve Fountain Hills. When Bashas’ opened the first modest-sized supermarket in the area, the company made a commitment to grow with the community. As the local population ballooned, customers outgrew the original store. So Bashas’ closed its first Fountain Hills location on April 15, 1986, and opened a new, larger store the very next day at 16605 E. Palisades. To revitalize the area and contribute to the neighborhood’s stability, the 21-year-old store was demolished in April 2008 and rebuilt from the ground up, employing the grocer’s new prototype design.
Bashas’ new store in Fountain Hills Plaza is 49,967 square feet -- more than triple the size of the first grocery store that served the Fountain Hills community in 1974 -- and will employ approximately 100 cashiers, courtesy clerks, managers and other workers.
Features of the new prototype include:
--A customer lounge area with a 42-inch flat-screen television and free Wi-Fi access;
--A Community Room, designed to be a meeting and gathering place for civic and nonprofit organizations;
--A Cub House, a free supervised play center (equipped with a Sony PlayStation, arts and crafts amenities, and board games) for children ages 2 to 10;
--An extensive selection of organic and natural foods;
--An Italian kitchen, equipped with a gelato bar;
--A new bakery with fresh products made from scratch on site;
--A new full-service deli offering Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, as well as chef-prepared hot entrees;
--A larger produce department, meat and seafood section, frozen food section, and expanded wine/liquor/beer department;
--A full-service United Drugs Pharmacy; and
--Front-end self-checkout lanes.
Bashas’ operates 160 grocery stores in Arizona under the Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Sportsman’s Fine Wines & Spirits, Eddie’s Country Store, Bashas’ and Bashas’ Diné banners.