Out with the Old (and affordable) and In with the New (and upscale) in Scottsdale

Scottsdale is a city of incredible amenities, but of course that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. One complaint that many residents have around the Old Town area is that it’s a relative food desert; as in, there are relatively few supermarket issues in the area.

Therefore it was rather disheartening to hear that one of the few options, the Fry’s at Indian School and Miller Road, was closing up shop, confirmed in a Facebook post by Councilwoman Solange Whitehead. This was followed by numerous comments expressing their displeasure, future inconvenience, and questions.

While certainly nowhere near as bad of a food desert as downtown Phoenix, fewer options is certainly not in the favor of the consumer.

That said, that concern was fleeting; just as signs went up at Fry’s announcing their closure, a new development came to light: that this location would instead be the site of a Whole Foods. A perfect trade…actually, an upgrade, as far as brands go.

Councilwoman Whitehead soon edited her comment, clarifying that the scenario wasn’t as dire as previously thought.

That said, it’s clearly a sign of the times, and a consequence (both good and bad) of living in a city like Scottsdale.

As far as grocery stores go, Fry’s is certainly “mass market”: affordable and convenient for the middle and lower ends of the socioeconomic scale. Replacing it with Whole Foods, clearly a high-end store with a less comprehensive selection for more fine foods, fits in better with the ethos of Scottsdale.

That said, those who don’t have an income that is above average, be it those on fixed income, the working class, or students, they’re clearly being squeezed a bit, especially considering the massive food inflation over the last few years. There is a Basha’s down the road that will fit the bill, but who is to say that that sticks around? If not, dire days are ahead for those classes.

Yes, a city like Scottsdale is typified by high end brands, goods and experiences. But the perpetuation of that doesn’t come without costs; in this case, higher food costs.