Skip to comments.What happens when the shelves at your grocery store are empty?
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 competitorsor 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 Englands 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 regions customers have been taking their business elsewhere.
Exactly how many customers have been going elsewhere is a question thats begging to be answered, though of some of the areas competing grocers are remaining rather tight-lipped on the matter.
Judi Palmer, spokeswoman for Stop & Shops 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, were 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 Shaws Supermarkets, said the past week has been a busy one for staff working in the companys Massachusetts and New Hampshire locations.
Weve 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.
Shaws 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 havent 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 Baskets 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 companys board was scheduled to meet Friday, though theres 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 Baskets company revenues reportedly exceeded $4.6 billion last year.
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.
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.
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!
Interesting that they replace one CEO with two co-CEOs. That, plus the replacements seem to have no experience with supermarket chains.
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.
It is purely a business dispute between two rival factions of the family that owns the stores.
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.
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.
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.
I wonder what shareholders are saying to the board?
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 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!
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.
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!
The company is family owned. If so shares aren’t available for public purchase.
Fiji Hill says:
“You can tell when youre in a unionized supermarketif 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.
As far as I’m concerned, both sides are right here.
Let the board decide what they value more, pride or prudence.
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.
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?