KINGMAN - Bashas' Markets said Thursday that it plans to close a small number of underperforming stores throughout Arizona, with the current economic conditions forcing the grocery chain to make "some extremely difficult decisions," according to Communications Director Kristy Nied.
"We have not confirmed a number of stores, though I can tell you we will be closing a handful of stores," Nied said. "We have not announced any layoffs, and we have not specified locations."
Those words run counter to Thursday news reports claiming up to 10 stores could be closed, resulting in up to 1,500 layoffs. Nied claimed those numbers, reported by the Arizona Republic, were based on an anonymous - and erroneous - tip.
"There was an anonymous person calling these outlets with misinformation, and some news outlets chose to publish that misinformation," Nied said. "Some of that tip is correct in yes, we are planning to close a handful of stores. The rest of the information is incorrect."
Nied further confirmed that the Kingman Bashas' at 3360 Andy Devine Ave. would be unaffected by the pending closures.
Bashas' currently operates about 150 stores, all but two of which are in Arizona. Despite the closures, Nied said Bashas' will continue to evaluate existing stores, expand its products and services, and open new stores in the future.
She noted that the chain already plans to open a newly remodeled and expanded store in Scottsdale on May 20, as well as a brand new store in Goodyear this November.
"Rest assured that we're going to do everything we can to preserve jobs of our members who work in the handful of stores that will close, and we'll make every effort to place members in surrounding store locations," she added.