- Bashas', a family-owned grocery store chain primarily located in Arizona, plans to expand its presence serving Navajo Nation with a new Diné Market store in Shiprock, New Mexico, according to an emailed press release.
- The upcoming Diné Market will be the grocer’s ninth store on the Navajo Nation and second location in New Mexico. Opening July 21, it will replace a City Market in a 42,108-square-foot space in the Shiprock/Tse' Bit' A'i Shopping Center.
- The store builds on Bashas’ ongoing support of the Navajo Nation, which includes profit-sharing, as well as job and educational opportunities.
With its Diné Market format, which debuted in 1982, Bashas’ said it is one of the few non-Native-American retailers with stores on the Navajo Nation.
“With this new venture, we want to continue providing more healthy food and beverage options for our people to empower them to embrace healthy and active living to combat diabetes and other health issues,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in the announcement.
Along with the Diné Market stores on Native American reservations, Bashas’ also has the Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Bashas’ and Eddie’s Country Store formats, with more than 100 locations across Arizona.
The grocer has since been actively supporting the Navajo Nation with community programs, per the press release. Each Diné Market gives 25% of its profits to the Navajo Nation. “Through this profit-sharing arrangement, in addition to rent and percentage rent, Bashas’ has contributed upwards of $48 million to the Navajo Nation for educational scholarship and economic development,” according to the grocer.
Native American employees also make up at least 95% of the workforce for Diné Market stores, with roughly 50 employees staffing the newest location. While replacing City Market, Bashas' plans to hire most of its associates at the Shiprock location.
Ahead of the opening, City Market, which is the only full-service grocer in the area, is working with Bashas’ to continue serving the community as the store transitions, according to the announcement.
Ensuring continuity is important to making fresh food available, Bashas' noted in the press release, with City Market's president saying that it links to its Zero Hunger, Zero Waste efforts. Native American reservations around the U.S. are fighting food insecurity, with the pandemic spotlighting systemic issues impacting food access.
Next year, Bashas’ plans to fully remodel the location, noting that it aims to emphasize native design, symbols and decorative art, along with a curated product selection, to meet the unique needs of Navajo shoppers.