New Fry's provides Downtown Phoenix students with a close supermarket

The new Fry's is the first supermarket in the downtown Phoenix area

A Fry’s Food Store officially opened its first downtown Phoenix location Oct. 23 just minutes away from ASU's Downtown Phoenix campus. 

The grocery store was celebrated by students, and an ASU professor said the new grocery store will provide economic growth to an area that was previously without any major supermarket. 

Economics professor Bart Hobijn said before the Fry’s opening, the downtown community had been what's known as a "food desert," an area of land defined by its lack of fresh fruits, vegetables and more.

“Phoenix is actually one of the cities kind of late to the game in having a major supermarket downtown,” Hobijn said. 

Hobijn said the growth of the downtown Phoenix area over the last five years has driven the demand for a supermarket to finally come to the area, explaining the lack of demand for a supermarket until recently.

“Someone needs to invest money into the area for there to be a critical amount of demand for the services provided by a supermarket,” Hobijn said. “Supply creates its own demand.”

According to Hobijn, the arrival of Fry’s can bring potential changes to the area. One benefit of the opening is that more people and businesses can be expected to move to downtown Phoenix, and more easily accessible jobs will be available due to the store being close to the Valley Metro Rail

“Now that there's a supermarket there … it will eliminate the food deficiency here,” Hobijn said.

However, Hobijn also said that because more people will move to the area, gentrification of the downtown community could become an issue for poorer residents and local businesses who will have to compete against the new supermarket.

For Downtown Phoenix ASU students, the store opening brings a much needed change.

“I usually went on the metro for 40 to 45 minutes to get groceries at the Super Target,” freshman criminology major Mckenna Hubbard said. “From Taylor Place (to the new Fry's), it's about an eight minute walk. You might have to find a way to carry your groceries ... through your own personal cart, but it is a lot easier to do that than carrying them on the light rail.”

Prior to the Fry’s opening, the closest supermarket to Taylor Place was a Safeway .9 miles away, which equates to a nearly 25 minute walk according to Apple Maps. Fry’s is less than half that distance away. 

Students previously had to rely on Wednesday and Sunday shuttles to and from Safeway, their own car or a long walk to get there. The only other alternatives were to shop at the much smaller CVS located in Cityscape, which is across from the new Fry’s, or head over to The Market at Taylor Place.

Diego Gomez, a senior studying kinesiology who previously worked at a different Fry's, said the opening will also provide students a chance to get jobs near campus.

"They can get jobs, and Fry's provides scholarships for workers," Gomez said.

The Fry's will be open from 5 a.m.- 11 p.m., making it one of the latest open sources of food near the Downtown Phoenix campus.


Reach the reporter at wmyskow@asu.edu and follow @wmyskow on Twitter. 

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