Support for Bashas’ supermarkets mounts

Last week the daily reported that Arizona business leaders were leading a movement to generate support for the 77-year-old Bashas’ grocery chain, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

Four generations of the Basha family have supported Arizona schools, charities and cultural events for decades, easily giving away $100 million to those causes.  Herman Chanen, speaking on behalf of the Good Samaritan business leaders, urged residents to support their hometown grocer by patronizing the company’s Bashas’, Food City, A.J.’s Fine Foods and Sportsman’s Fine Wines & Spirits stores.

“They need our help, and it’s time we showed our appreciation,” said Phoenix businessman Herman Chanen, who put up $100,000 to get the campaign off the ground. He stressed that the group is not affiliated with Chandler-based Bashas’ or the Basha family.

Although the economic slowdown and tight credit markets were among the problems faced by the Valley’s only local supermarket chain — Seeing Red AZ has previously covered the fact that the non-union enterprise has been the victim of thuggishly unscrupulous practices by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union —  whose relentless attacks and promotion of false claims have cost Bashas’ millions in legal fees, damage control and lost business.

Today Steve Chanen, Herman’s son, authors a Viewpoints piece in which he makes the point that Bashas’ employs about 10,000 employees, ranks among the five biggest employers headquartered in Arizona and is need of consumer support.

Although Eddie Basha has long been active in Democrat politics, running against twice-elected Republican Gov. Fife Symington, we agree that these are unusual times and join the business community in urging customer support of this Arizona business.

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11 Responses to Support for Bashas’ supermarkets mounts

  1. Alice says:

    Blessedly, my Bashas (2 blocks from my home)has not been on the hit list yet. However, we have stepped up our shopping there to offer our family’s support. I even bought some greeting cards there last week, which I have never done since they started carrying them. And many of their cards are printed in the USA.
    That’s a WIN-WIN!

  2. sherriaz says:

    While I think it is a shame that Bashas has been targeted by union thugs, they have been affected by business dynamics just like others that have had to compete with bigger companies. Customer loyalty counts for little when people need to make their dollars stretch as far as possible and a retailer can’t offer the same deals as bigger companies. As a frugal shopper, I compared all the grocery sale papers weekly, frequently going to 3 or 4 stores to get the best deals on different items. I never went to Bashas- they just didn’t have the deals.

    Bashas will need to be much more competitive in order to stay in business in major areas. They may do fine in remote parts of the state. I hope they can compete so that people save their jobs and a proud Arizona company can remain in business.

  3. John Q says:

    While I agree that Bashas does not have the same specials offered at Frys and I do have to look for low prices, I have made it a point to shop there for the “non-specials” lately. Because of the political leanings of the Bashas, I used to avoid shopping there, however, now I see overriding reasons to change my previous position.

    The company has been a local business that invested heavily in the community interests for decades, and it purchases a larger portion of its stock from local producers than the national chains. In addition, a lot of its financial problems were caused by the need to respond to the outlandish and dirty – some would say illegal – tactics of the union.

    These are two compelling reasons for me to spend some of my resources at Bashas and I encourage others to do the same.

  4. Keeper says:

    Bashas want us to support their Arizona company, but they hired an Illinois real estate company to re-negotiate its leases. Hypocrisy is not virtue.

  5. Joe Evans says:

    Keeper:
    I don’t know the reasons they hired who they hired and it’s doubtful you do either. What I DO know is that Basha’s Markets have been hit hard by a union that does not have even a passing acquaintance with the truth and the grocery chain employs 10,000 Arizonans. If this is you hair-splitting issue, would be happier seeing more Arizona workers on public assistance and more homes in foreclosure? That’s your choice, Mr/Ms Keeper.

    I am not a fan of Eddie Basha, but I will go out of my way to help his employees and keep a longtime valley store in business. You can shop at Costco, which gives large donations to the Democratic party.

  6. Keeper says:

    Joe,

    I’m not trying to make matters worse at Basha’s; they have done a fine job mismanaging their own company. And what a ridiculous leap to take from my comment that I want more Arizonans out of work. Quite the contrary, which is why I pointed out the hypocrisy. If you beg Arizonans to support your company because they are Arizonans, perhaps you should practice what you preach and also support Arizona companies. Hypocrisy is hypocrisy, regardless of how emotional you get about the cause.

  7. Justin says:

    Hey Keeper would you concede the actions of the unscrupulous union and the horrible economy have been contributing factors? As to “mismanagement’ when was the last time you had bookkeeping oversight for the chain?

  8. Keeper says:

    Justin, I wasn’t aware people stopped eating during the recession. Yes, I’ll concede that unions are always a problem, and yet the other grocery chains seem to be avoiding bankruptcy just fine. Are they managing unions better? Apparently. That other chains aren’t facing bankruptcy tells me that Basha’s wasn’t run well, which they admitted to in the the Republic yesterday by conceding they kept several stores open long past their economic viability – not good management. But the point remains the same, why not hire one of the 100,000 plus real estate licensees who live, work, and shop in Arizona?

  9. Maggie says:

    Bashas Markets has been under the ownership of one Arizona family for the better part of a century. When exactly do you think they started “mismanaging” their business? In 1932? 1945? 1958 or ‘62? Maybe the “mismanagement” started in 1986 or 1993? I gather from your comments that you are an entrepreneurial risk taker who has put all you have into a family owned business and provided jobs and merchandise to hundreds of thousands for generations. If not, it might be time to reassess and redirect your bitterness. Meanwhile shop at WalMart for all I care, although I’ll bet you have some issues with their worker “exploitation.”

    Also, the Basha execs and family are not “begging” anyone to support their company. A conglomerate of business leaders have taken this effort upon themselves.

    You’re probably not a native and don’t recall when the family owned grocery chains were more prolific than the large out-of-town based stores. A.J. Bayless, Farm Fresh Markets, El Rancho and Bashas were all local and located all over town. They were all “mismanaged” too, right? Today, only Bashas remains.

    As to the union, the UFCW has done everything within its power to bring down the Basha stores. I walked through a huge protest at my neighborhood store and the unionists were yelling at me through bullhorns. More timid shoppers stayed away in droves.

  10. Keeper says:

    LOL Maggie! There is no bitterness coming from me at all, just observations based on facts. I’m a free market conservative that thinks businesses should be allowed to fail. You obviously hold the view that companies YOU like should be subsidized You are clearly emotionally involved, if not financially involved in Basha’s, which is fine, but it seriously skews your objectivity. You have the right to your opinion, and I do to mine, though I’m guessing you’d like the government to shut me up because I don’t agree with you. LOL! Oh, and Ira Fulton’s company, one of the business leaders you site, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

  11. Villanova says:

    Suggestion: Stop responding to “Keeper,” who sounds like an antagonistic liberal with a chip on his/her shoulder. No attention and that sort evaporates.