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Fry's opens new upscale store in Phoenix

Phoenix Supermarket chain Fry’s Food Stores has opened a Signature Marketplace superstore in Phoenix, according to a report by the Arizona Republic.

The Tolleson, Ariz.-based discount grocer, which is owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., has opened the new store as a means to appeal to more affluent shoppers, offering an upscale setting that includes valet parking, custom car washes, a cooking school, wine bar and expanded selections of organic produce and high-end meats.

According to the report, Fry's, which is celebrating its 50th year in Arizona, is betting the new store will help reposition it as more than just a low-price player. The new store will carry an expanded line of high-end merchandise, although the majority of the products will be priced the same as at other Fry's locations.

The new 136,000-sq.-ft. store, which opened as a Smitty's supermarket in 1985, had been closed since April while it was being transformed into Fry's flagship Arizona supermarket.

Fry’s operates 121 supermarkets in Arizona under the Fry’s banner; its parent Kroger operates nearly 2,500 stores.