Bashas’ supermarket chain announced last week that it will close five stores across the state, including the Ike’s Farmers Market in Oro Valley.

Ike’s opened in May 2007 at Oracle Road and Rancho Vistoso Boulevard.

The company owns Bashas’, Food City, Ike’s Farmers Market and A.J.’s Fine Foods.

A company spokeswoman said that 200 employees, including those at Ike’s and the other stores slated for closure, could be reassigned at the other stores, including two new Bashas’ stores planned to open in the Phoenix area in coming months.

The company announced last month the layoff of 350 employees statewide in their corporate office, distribution center and stores.

“Ike’s Farmers Market was a new concept that we tested (in Oro Valley) and learned a lot from,” said Kristy Nied, a company spokeswoman. “We still feel it’s a viable concept.”

That concept was intended to tap into the burgeoning market for organic and natural foods.

Nied said competition from similar stores such as Sprouts and Whole Foods, both within miles of Ike’s, factored into the decision to close the store. The worsening economy also influenced the decision, Nied added.

“In general, they were all low-revenue (producing) stores,” Nied said of the five closing stores.

The company has not set a definite closing date for Ike’s, but Nied said all five of the planned closures would take place between March and May.

The company also will close two Bashas’ stores in the Phoenix-metro area, a Food City also in Phoenix and another near Yuma.

The Chandler-based company opened its first stores in 1932 and today owns more than 153 stores and employees about 11,000 people, according to the company Web site.

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