Safeway to close three stores in Arizona, including two in the Valley

- With online ordering and delivery and those home meal kits, it's a changing world when it comes to shopping for groceries, and some underperforming stores are closing their doors.

On Tuesday, Safeway announced that three of its stories in Arizona will close. Two of the stores are in the Valley, including the one at 32nd Street and Thunderbird. It is expected to close at the end of next month.

"I'm going to miss it," said one person. "Even though it's expensive, it's the only store we have in this area."

"I'm going to have to Uber to a different store now, because there's nothing else around here," said another person.

The other Safeway slated to close is at 59th Avenue and Thunderbird in Glendale. The company isn't commenting, but those who watch the retail industry say this shakeout in the grocery industry has been happening for a while. Retail Doctor CEO Bob Phibbs says for a variety of reasons, people aren't going to the large traditional grocery stores as much as they used to.

"Smaller concepts are working. Target is getting smaller concepts. A lot of grocery stores are testing out smaller concepts because, quite frankly, people don't want to spend time going up and down the aisles any more," said Phibbs, in a phone interview.

Phipps says convenience has driven people, especially millennials, to use delivered meal kits, Amazon food delivery, or subscription food delivery, and that is applying pressure to traditional grocery stores' bottom line, and many are being forced to consolidate.

"The question is what happens to the full store grocers, and nobody has a clear vision on how that's going to play out, with the number of competitors in the market," said Phibbs.

As for the future plans for the store in North Phoenix, it may become a gym.

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