Bashas' is working up a sweat standing its ground in the Southwest. The regional grocery chain operates about 130 stores (down from more than 160 in 2008), all but two of which are located in Arizona. (The other locations are in California and New Mexico.) Its holdings include Bashas' traditional supermarkets, AJ's Fine Foods (gourmet-style supermarkets), and about a dozen Food City supermarkets (which cater to Hispanics in southern Arizona). It also runs a handful of Dine Markets in the Navajo Nation ("dine" means "the people" in Navajo), and Phoenix wine retailer Sportsman's Fine Wine and Spirits. Founded in 1932, family-owned Bashas' emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-2010 after closing stores.
In 2012 Bashas' announced that it had refinanced its secured debt with a new lender group, allowing the supermarket chain to restructure its debt faster than planned. The refinancing should allow Bashas to operate more normally despite ongoing economic weakness in its market.
The chain cited the credit crunch and deep recession in the US, which hit Arizona especially hard, a glut of grocery stores in its market, and an ongoing dispute with its unionized employees as factors contributing to its bankruptcy (filed in 2009). – less