Bashas’ is expanding the reach of its grocery offerings for the Navajo people with the introduction of a Bashas’ Diné Market in Shiprock, New Mexico.
The Diné Market – Bashas’ ninth grocery store on the Navajo Nation and second New Mexico location – will soon occupy what is currently a City Market.
The City Market will officially close at 8 p.m. on July 19, and reopen as a Bashas’ Diné Market at 8 a.m. on July 21. Bashas’ will occupy the entire 42,108 square foot store, making it the new anchor tenant of the Shiprock Tse’ Bit’ A’i Shopping Center at the corner of US-491 and Highway 64.
Since opening its first Diné Market in 1982, Bashas’ has been an active and involved member of the Navajo Nation, supporting education, nutrition, art, health and wellness through community programs and collaborations.
“This is a great partnership between the Navajo Nation and Bashas’ that will benefit Shiprock and surrounding communities,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
“I extend my appreciation to the Bashas’ family for supporting our Navajo communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and going above and beyond to ensure the safety of our community members and employees. 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. Congratulations to Bashas’ and the Shiprock community!”
The new grocery store will provide several economic benefits to the Shiprock community. Each Bashas’ Diné Market location gives back 25 percent 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.
“We appreciate the Basha family’s commitment to acquire the grocery store in the Shiprock/Tse’ Bit’ A’i Shopping Center,” said Navajo Nation VP Myron Lizer. “We welcome this new Bashas’ Diné Market to Shiprock and look forward to seeing the many ways the Navajo Nation will benefit from this partnership.”
Across the Navajo Nation, at least 95 percent of Bashas’ Dine Market store employees are Native American. According to its most recent employment figures, Bashas’ currently employs nearly 500 people on the Navajo Nation.
“We look forward to the transition and to welcoming Bashas’ Diné Markets to the Shiprock Shopping Center,” said Nicholas Taylor, CEO of Navajo Nation Shopping Centers, Inc., which manages the shopping center. “City Market has served the community well and now we look forward to Bashas’ Diné Market joining the community to provide jobs, fresh, healthy, and local foods, and services to the Navajo people, as they have since 1982.”
As the Navajo Nation prepares to welcome Bashas’ as its new grocery partner in Shiprock, local tribe leaders are grateful for the contributions City Market made to the community since its opening in 1986.
“On behalf of the 24th Navajo Nation Council, we would like to extend our upmost gratitude to City Market for the years they have served the Shiprock community and the Navajo Nation,” said 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Łichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh). “We appreciate Bashas’ stepping up to serve our Navajo people in the Northern Agency with this new grocery store.”
Those sentiments were echoed by 24th Navajo Nation Council Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton (Shiprock).
“I would like to thank City Market for all the years they have served the Shiprock community, and I look forward to working with Bashas’ now and in the years to come,” Charles-Newton said. “I pray that this change will promote economic development and ensure employment opportunities to Navajo citizens in the Northern Agency.”
The transition has been a collaborative effort between Bashas’ and City Market, with the retailers working together closely to provide continuity as the only full-service market in the vicinity changes hands. Bashas’ will hire a majority of the City Market associates who worked at the location, although some City Market employees will be transferred to other locations. The store will employ approximately 50 people.
“Our Zero Hunger, Zero Waste social impact plan includes making sure our communities have access to fresh foods and essentials,” said Steve Burnham, City Market President. “With this commitment in mind, we are pleased to be working with Bashas’ as they take over the operation of this location, ensuring that the community continues to have access to the fresh food they need.”
The location will officially reopen as a Bashas’ Diné Market on July 21 to ensure that the community can continue to be served, without the store closing for an extended period of time. That said, shoppers will soon find a wholly new shopping experience at this location in the near future, as Bashas’ anticipates conducting a full store remodel of this location next year.
Although Bashas’ is one of the few non-Native-American retailers with stores on the Navajo Nation, Bashas’ Diné Markets have become the modern-day trading post for the Navajo people. Through its history serving the Navajo Nation, Bashas’ has learned a great deal about creating stores by and for the Navajo people, from the products on store shelves to the visual elements that emphasize native design, symbols and decorative art.
“Bashas’ Diné Markets exist and succeed because of our commitment to the Navajo people,” said Johnny Basha, VP of special projects for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “From the beginning, we’ve considered it a privilege to work side-by-side with the Navajo, to learn about and from them, and to share in a vision for stimulating economic growth. The strength of this partnership rests largely on the value and emphasis we’ve put into developing our cultural proficiency and creating markets that serve the unique needs of shoppers.”