Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What happens when the shelves at your grocery store are empty?
Fortune Magazine ^ | July 25, 2014 | April Guilmet

Posted on 07/26/2014 9:51:59 AM PDT by SamAdams76

A New England supermarket chain embroiled in a labor dispute provides a boon for its competitors—or does it?

One week after a company-wide employee dispute slammed the breaks on food deliveries, the shelves are looking pretty barren inside most of New England’s 70 or so Market Basket stores. Rather than shuffle past picket lines to contend with empty meat cases and dwindling produce bins, many of the region’s customers have been taking their business elsewhere.

Exactly how many customers have been going elsewhere is a question that’s begging to be answered, though of some of the area’s competing grocers are remaining rather tight-lipped on the matter.

Judi Palmer, spokeswoman for Stop & Shop’s New England division, declined to share specifics as to how the Market Basket situation was affecting the chain.

She noted, however, that Market Basket is “a main competitor” with a good portion of Stop & Shop stores scattered around Massachusetts. The chain no longer has stores in New Hampshire or Maine, but the Quincy, Mass.-based chain has more than 380 stores in New England. “Right now, we’re so just focusing on giving all our customers a great shopping experience,” Palmer said this week.

Jessica Stevens, spokeswoman for Target TGT , likewise declined to comment on the Market Basket strife or whether an increase in demand led to stocking shortages in the region. There are nearly 40 Target locations in Massachusetts and nine in New Hampshire, according to the company website. The chain carries a variety of perishable and nonperishable grocery items.

Officials from other competing grocery chains, including Hannaford Supermarkets and Wal-Mart WMT , did not respond to calls or emails sent this week.

But Jeffrey Gulko, spokesman for Shaw’s Supermarkets, said the past week has been a busy one for staff working in the company’s Massachusetts and New Hampshire locations.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in our sales, as well as the number of customers coming into those stores,” Gulko said on Friday. Company officials said the “most noticeable jump in sales” was this past Monday and Tuesday.

Shaw’s Supermarkets employs 18,500 workers around New England. The company has two distribution centers: one in Maine and one in Massachusetts.

“The sheer number of shipments being made to stores in those areas have definitely increased last week,” Gulko said, noting that the company has been successful in refilling shelves to meet consumer demands.

The national implications of the Market Basket upheaval remain uncertain.

“So far we haven’t heard much from any of the (competing) retailers in that area,” Laura Strange, spokeswoman for the Virginia-based National Grocers Association said on Friday.

In late June Market Basket’s board of directors set off an unanticipated chain reaction when they terminated beloved CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, replacing him with Co-CEOs: former Knowledge Universe CEO Felicia Thornton and former Radio Shack CEO James Gooch. Market Basket employees demonstrated their outrage this week by ceasing store deliveries, encouraging store boycotts and rallying en masse in shopping plazas.

The company has over 40 stores in Massachusetts, nearly 30 in New Hampshire and one in Maine. About 25,000 workers are employed with Market Basket.

On July 23, Demoulas made an offer to buy out his rivalling family members for an undisclosed sum in an effort to gain control of the company again.

“We care deeply about Market Basket and all our associates and we want to work together to return the company to its successful model for serving our loyal customers,” Demoulas said in a written statement issued the following day.

The company’s board was scheduled to meet Friday, though there’s no word yet as to whether or not Demoulas’ offer would be accepted. Meanwhile, upwards of 10,000 workers, many of them boarding buses from their respective Market Basket stores, attended a massive rally in Tewksbury, Mass. on Friday morning, backing up traffic for miles.

According to The Griffin Report of Food Marketing, the company is valued at $3.5 billion. Market Basket’s company revenues reportedly exceeded $4.6 billion last year.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: marketbasket
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-117 next last
So, this is a very strange labor dispute. The 25,000 workers are effectively on strike but they are not unionized (and will have nothing to do with unions) and are not striking, and urging a consumer boycott of their company, in order to secure better wages or benefits for themselves.

In fact, there one and only demand is that the supermarket chain reinstate the CEO that they fired about a month ago.

Never seen anything like this before. Will be interesting to see how this turns out.

1 posted on 07/26/2014 9:51:59 AM PDT by SamAdams76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
Yes, "there" should be "their" - just a typo and warding off the grammar police...

Anyway, all around Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the Market Basket stores are effectively closed. They are technically open and the employees are earning wages for their shifts, but they are standing outside the stores and urging customers to not go inside.

Not just the hourly employees but the salaried managers as well. They are all willing to shut down the business in order that the board of directors give in and hire back their beloved CEO.

As well, over 100,000 customers of this chain have signed petitions stating that they will no longer shop at Market Basket unless the CEO is re-hired.

2 posted on 07/26/2014 9:55:26 AM PDT by SamAdams76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

So?....Just **why** did they fire the former CEO.

Hm?...My bet? He said something that wasn’t PC. Hm?....Maybe he attends a **Christian** church!


3 posted on 07/26/2014 9:55:43 AM PDT by wintertime
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: SamAdams76

Interesting that they replace one CEO with two co-CEOs. That, plus the replacements seem to have no experience with supermarket chains.


5 posted on 07/26/2014 9:58:29 AM PDT by rbg81
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

This IS interesting. All the employees must have saved up quite a bit to handle losing paychecks.

FNC today covered a RAT lawmaker proposing that employers pay extra for calling in part-timers with no notice, but they didn’t cover a 10K rally...

CEO has created incredible loyalty to him, maybe he and the employees will be able to buy out Market Basket.


6 posted on 07/26/2014 10:00:36 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

It is purely a business dispute between two rival factions of the family that owns the stores.


7 posted on 07/26/2014 10:00:53 AM PDT by proxy_user
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: wintertime
There is a long backstory to this but the long and short of it is that the family that owns Market Basket have been embroiled in a longstanding feud. 50.5% of the company is owned by one side of the family and 49.5% is owned by the other side.

The side with the 49.5% ownership had the CEO who was recently terminated. Although the supermarket was thriving and expanding, the 50.5% side of the family did not like one bit that some of the profits were going towards quarterly "incentive' bonuses for the employees and wanted those benefits cut so that they could collect a larger share of the profits.

8 posted on 07/26/2014 10:00:59 AM PDT by SamAdams76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
n fact, there one and only demand is that the supermarket chain reinstate the CEO that they fired about a month ago.

Never seen anything like this before. Will be interesting to see how this turns out.

In the late 1980's, unions at Eastern Airlines went on strike not for higher wages or benefits but to force out their CEO. And they succeeded--the airline went out of business.

9 posted on 07/26/2014 10:05:42 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

They are technically open and the employees are earning wages for their shifts, but they are standing outside the stores and urging customers to not go inside.


Then we have to look at what’s happening in the MB warehouses.. they must be refusing trucks delivering and refusing drivers leaving with the perishables. Did they just padlock the warehouses?

I wonder what shareholders are saying to the board?


10 posted on 07/26/2014 10:07:03 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

You can tell when you’re in a unionized supermarket—if there are 12 checkstands, lines will be forming at the two that are open. At a non-union supermarket near my home, all of the checkstands are usually manned.


11 posted on 07/26/2014 10:08:23 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
the 50.5% side of the family did not like one bit that some of the profits were going towards quarterly "incentive' bonuses for the employees and wanted those benefits cut so that they could collect a larger share of the profits.

That explains the strength of the 'strike'.

It looks like a bunch of good, smart, employees.

If Arthur T. gains control, he and the employees are going to have a very solid and close relationship. The store could take over damn near everything around it!

12 posted on 07/26/2014 10:11:12 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the earth for a thousand years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

My bet is that the two CEO’s were brought on to do a pump and dump of the chain at the request of the shareholders who want to cash out. SOP in today’s stock market.


13 posted on 07/26/2014 10:11:14 AM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

I use MB, but this morning went to a competitor... plan to be back to MB when this settles over.

MB to me is the capitalist free-market choice. As a result, they have the lowest prices among all the competitors. I somewhat joke that EVERYTHING in MB is $1 cheaper, even if it is $1, it will be 10 cents in MB. In many instances that is the case in reality, so it really is no joke.

Employees I talk to are conservatives!


14 posted on 07/26/2014 10:11:30 AM PDT by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

The company is family owned. If so shares aren’t available for public purchase.


15 posted on 07/26/2014 10:14:52 AM PDT by meatloaf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Fiji Hill

Fiji Hill says:
“You can tell when you’re in a unionized supermarket—if there are 12 checkstands, lines will be forming at the two that are open. At a non-union supermarket near my home, all of the checkstands are usually manned.”

That describes the local WalMart, on any given weekday, during work-day hours, i.e., 12 checkstands and 4 manned.


16 posted on 07/26/2014 10:17:16 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

As far as I’m concerned, both sides are right here.

Let the board decide what they value more, pride or prudence.


17 posted on 07/26/2014 10:18:27 AM PDT by RangerM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
musta been one hell of a CEO...
18 posted on 07/26/2014 10:19:01 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

if you’re from new England, you know that the two big supermarkets, market basket and stop and shop, are worlds apart when it comes to price. and there is one simple reason, unions. stop and shop is unionized and you have fifty year old cashiers with the same attitude you can get at the registry of motor vehicles. when you go to market basket, you get high school kids who are polite.
there are some items at stop and shop that are fifty per cent higher than the same item at market basket.


19 posted on 07/26/2014 10:19:03 AM PDT by willywill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: meatloaf

Yeah, I’m starting to piece it together.

I’m wondering about the political makeup of the warring family factions. Is it two sons who inherited the chain and their progeny battling each other?


20 posted on 07/26/2014 10:19:27 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
Yes, "there" should be "their" - just a typo and warding off the grammar police...

Yeah, but they'll get you for starting a sentence with "So". The FRGP will be after you! :)

21 posted on 07/26/2014 10:19:59 AM PDT by PistolPaknMama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Fiji Hill
At a non-union supermarket near my home, all of the checkstands are usually manned.

...adding, "except for Walmart". That alone is the main reason I hate going there.

22 posted on 07/26/2014 10:24:40 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (It ain't a "hashtag"....it's a damn pound sign, number sign, or octothorpe. ###)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: All


Just A Reminder
Please Don't Forget
To Donate To FR
This Quarter

Sponsoring FReepers are contributing
$10 Each time a New Monthly Donor signs up!
Get more bang for your FR buck!
Click Here To Sign Up Now!

23 posted on 07/26/2014 10:24:41 AM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Chode

“musta been one hell of a CEO...”

Went to grade school with him. His dad, Mike, was a great man. And, yeah, Artie T. is (was) a helluva CEO.


24 posted on 07/26/2014 10:26:24 AM PDT by Stormdog (A rifle transforms one from subject to Citizen)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Terry L Smith

Heh....I just posted #22, then continued reading the thread and saw yours.


25 posted on 07/26/2014 10:26:32 AM PDT by ErnBatavia (It ain't a "hashtag"....it's a damn pound sign, number sign, or octothorpe. ###)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

?? slammed the breaks ??

who writes this stuff?


26 posted on 07/26/2014 10:27:42 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

” slammed the breaks on food deliveries”

Did what?


27 posted on 07/26/2014 10:28:47 AM PDT by AppyPappy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Stormdog

Can you tell us more about the family side that got Artie booted?


29 posted on 07/26/2014 10:33:25 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Supporters Of Ousted Market Basket CEO Gather In Tewksbury http://wbur.fm/1riywBI


30 posted on 07/26/2014 10:34:17 AM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wintertime

“Maybe he attends a **Christian** church!”

Lame crap.

Arthur T. Demoulos is greek along with his cousins including Artur S. Demoulos whoo has taken control of the company. I suspect they are both active in the Greek Orthodox Church in America. This is not about religion.

Read the back story before making stupid comments.


31 posted on 07/26/2014 10:36:45 AM PDT by Steven Scharf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog
"slammed the breaks"

Who edits this stuff?

32 posted on 07/26/2014 10:37:19 AM PDT by Former Proud Canadian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

“I wonder what shareholders are saying to the board?” There are no public shareholders. This company is owned by two factions of one family as noted above.


33 posted on 07/26/2014 10:38:54 AM PDT by Steven Scharf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Stormdog
i wish him well
34 posted on 07/26/2014 10:38:56 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog

Great Link!!

Great photos, looks like Artie’s guys are going to be buying it.

Thanks Sam Adams, this story brightened my whole day.


35 posted on 07/26/2014 10:39:48 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

I guess they really liked that guy. You are right, it is a strange story.

But, if they are not in a union, why doesn’t the store just fire them all?

I’m sure they could be easily replaced in this labor market. Or by some border jumping teenagers.


36 posted on 07/26/2014 10:40:36 AM PDT by jocon307
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76

The unions love their company so much they destroyed it!


37 posted on 07/26/2014 10:41:04 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
They are technically open and the employees are earning wages for their shifts, but they are standing outside the stores and urging customers to not go inside

They are getting paid to destroy their business... weird

38 posted on 07/26/2014 10:42:04 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: txhurl

apparently they are still getting paid


39 posted on 07/26/2014 10:42:42 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: smokingfrog

Sounds like Artie's side are the conservatives, and the other side are liberal tyrants.

40 posted on 07/26/2014 10:42:49 AM PDT by txhurl (2014: Stunned Voters do Stunning Things!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Steven Scharf

Learn to identify ironic quipping before you fly off the handle.


41 posted on 07/26/2014 10:44:19 AM PDT by Usagi_yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Balding_Eagle

Let them go out of business, this ship of fools sounds like they deserve it


42 posted on 07/26/2014 10:44:25 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

Comment #43 Removed by Moderator

Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: Chode
musta been one hell of a CEO...

He was their daddy, he gave them bonuses instead of using it to expand the business. Very paternalistic apparently.

SO now they will burn it down I guess since "Bad Uncle" with more shares took control.

45 posted on 07/26/2014 10:46:25 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

If you read through the article, and some of the posts here on FR you will see that they are doing this for the stated purpose, have Arthur T. reinstated as the CEO.

The reinstatement will mean that they will continue to be paid (it appears) for their worth to the company.


46 posted on 07/26/2014 10:46:43 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the earth for a thousand years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: Balding_Eagle

I saw the pic, they are sitting down, not working and still getting paid.

Their worth to the company is less than zero at this point.


48 posted on 07/26/2014 10:49:43 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: First Authority

The chain is never going to go national the way it was being run.


49 posted on 07/26/2014 10:50:36 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: GeronL
Let them go out of business, this ship of fools sounds like they deserve it

Neither of us have a lot of facts to work with, but I came to just the opposite conclusion.

I see a greedy cousin who wants to operate the company for the benefit of short term profits, Arthur T. wants it operated with an eye towards a strong employee work force.

50 posted on 07/26/2014 10:50:44 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the earth for a thousand years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-117 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson