Market Basket boots CEO

Arthur S. Demoulas vanquishes Arthur T. Demoulas for control of the chain, the Lowell Sun reports.



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    I doubt it will ever open. I bet they will sell the lease or sell the building to someone else. They will find some way out of it. I'd be surprised if any of the proposed/planned stores ever open. If they did, Revere would have already been open.


    All I want is to use this Market Basket gift card my boss gave me for Christmas. I've been waiting this whole damn time. If they force me to go to that hell hole you go to in Chelsea, I'll scream! :(


    Are you thinking of the old store they tore down? The current one can be crowded (and sometimes people aren't very civil) but I would hardly call it a hellhole. In fact I think it's pretty nice as far as grocery stores go. There are definitely good and bad times to go, though--I find weeknights at 7:30 or 8 (basically an hour before they close) are least crowded.

    The one time I went there

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    must have been way, way off peak. I didn't see any noticeable crowding there.

    Now, the Somerville one is always a mad house ...

    (and unfortunately for me schlepping all the way over to Chelsea is a pain)

    Burlington, Willmington, Reading

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    All much saner.

    Or, if you are Cape Cod bound, there's one just the other side of the bridge. Save you tons of money over other Cape Cod grocery stores!

    Sad Day

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    This makes me really sad. I've always been a big Market Basket supporter and shopper. They really do treat their employees and customers very well. Its sad that greed wins again.

    It's easy to say "It's just a supermarket, get over yourself", but Market Basket is much more than that. They really do treat their employees very well. The benefits that are offered are unheard of in the supermarket biz (except for maybe Publix and WinCo, which are employee owned companies). Where else can you get in on profit sharing, in retail?!?

    And then of course the savings and the level of customer service that the customers get is un-compared to their competitors. Sure, Wegman's is now here, but it's not the same. Market Basket is pure New England and pure Massachusetts. It doesn't get any closer to that this. Wegman's is just not the same and doesn't hold that special place that Market Basket has in many people's hearts. Sure it sounds corny, but I know when I shop at Market Basket, my (more for my) dollar is staying local. Local employees. Local products (mostly!). Local business. Unlike most of the other supermarket chains in this area (remember S&S and Shaw's are no longer local companies). This will all change now.

    It's truly sad that this is happened. I suspect that the board will suck all the money out of the company, straddle it with debt, raise prises, fuck the customers and the employees, then put the whole thing up for sale and probably sell it to a supermarket chain that has been dying to get into New England (i.e. Kroger, Safeway, etc).

    Incidently the two people that will replace Arthur T have the worst resume(s). One (Jim Gooch) was fired as CEO/Pres of Radio Shack, and prior he was an exec at Sears/KMart, no explanation necessary on how those companies are today (failing!). The other one (Felicia Thornton) was fired as CEO from Knowledge Universe and was also instrumental with running Albertson's (the pre-2006 Albertson's) into the ground before broken up and sold to SuperValu (the former parent of Shaw's/Star). With such backgrounds, neither person has a clue on how to run a large successful supermarket chain. Sad. It will be run into the ground. Mark my words.

    This is the beginning of the end of Market Basket as we know it. In a few years, you won't be able to tell if you are shopping at Shaw's, Stop & Shop, or Market Basket, because they are all going to be so poorly run and over priced, you won't be able to tell them apart. Sad.

    *sigh* I guess I am Roche Bros newest customer (whenever the one near work in DTX opens..) :-/


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    If anyone is interested and can go during the day, the "Save Market Basket" Facebook group (below) is having a rally tomorrow at 2:30 in the Chelsea Market Basket's parking. Their Facebook post has more information:

    (Sorry Adam for the plug, but would love to see the store's huge parking lot filled with supporters!!)


    This makes me sad too--I love MB and I shop there all the time. For them to raise prices and sell out would be a huge disappointment. I really hope it doesn't come to that, but I feel greed often wins.

    Bummer :(

    Don't be sad

    There is a long history of good CEOs being forced out only to go onto found or start managing other companies with great success. The textbook example is Apple but there are many others, especially in the food service segment.

    Another supermarket will come along and treat this guy like a god for putting Market Basket in as good of shape as he's leaving it. I wouldn't be surprised if Shaws made him an offer.

    Market Basket is being foolish but such is the price of success and a family business.

    "Straddle it with debt?"

    You probably mean saddle with debt. My understanding is that the CEO fired wanted to invest in new stores (debt) while the family wanted more cash flow into their pockets. So, I don't expect Market Basket to go into bigger debt, but kill off their existing business with reduced operating costs (service) and higher prices in order to suck out more money from the business. Jonnies Foodmaster could be the model for that - kids of the founder let the chain stagnate with a business model stuck somewhere in the 1960's.

    *eye roll*

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    Thanks for the spelling correction, Mr Teacher.

    No, I think they will load it up with debt to bankrupt the company. You do realize Market Basket as ZERO debt. they are a strictly cash only business and have very few 'credit terms' accounts. Arthur T was very anti-credit, which is why they could operate (already) at such a low margin because he wasn't paying off loans or charge accounts.

    This will now change. The new management will load up this company with debt to bankrupt it so they can sell it at fire sale prices to a competitor. Its how business is done. Just look at the two goons they chose to replace Arthur T, they know how to drive companies into the ground.


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    Would they want to sell it at "fire-sale" prices with loads of debt when they could sell a debt-free company now at a much higher price?

    Incorrect idiom

    You spelled straddle just fine. Its use could have been appropriate to describe how the CEO dealt with competing goals of corporate health and family greed.

    Markk I expect a number of things from you

    I expect certain things from you, but I didn't expect this view on Market Basket.

    You seem to have missed several points while attempting to show your knowledge of this matter.

    1. Market Basket have expanded a lot in the last couple of years. Yet they have zero debt through it.
    a. This is because they used the recession to buy their land outright rather than lease.
    b. They been buying the land in cash.
    c. This has strained the family as many wanted use the said money as a payout
    2. The family last clash forced Market Basket to borrow money to do payouts.

    Those two points above seems to indicate the CEO have been trying to expand without borrowing money (which reminds me about "debt is good" arguments, but it seems growth with pure cash and timing has its value and more likely to be sustainable). Meanwhile the family seem intent to pull off a corporate raid in a vein that Gordon Gekko would attempt.

    As the great Robert Frosty

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    As the great Robert Frosty wrote : '' Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,''

    That seems to be the case here , and you cant take both. Invest in the future , or live for today. Demoulas is too big of an operation now to fly under the radar , they are in play. The today crowd has spoken , and the competition is drooling , present or future. Then there is the tidal wave in the industry , C & S Grocers wholesalers upsetting the equilibrium as well . Where the debris lands , who knew. This will be the summer of discontent in this racket, for sure. And a good part of supermarketing is the real estate, some others might want to play in this playgound

    Doesn't look good for MB

    This change can't be good for the market a lot of people now love. My wife is a dedicated MB fan and will immediately notice any changes new management decides to implement. For the last few months, she has noticed an uptick in prices which actually doesn't surprise me, but you do still get the 4% discount. The new stores they're building are really nice stores (like Hudson, Chelsea), but stray from their longtime business model of barebones stores. I don't see how they can have huge stores like that and maintain the low prices - something's gotta give.

    This is the problem with family run businesses, though. Family members with a financial interest in the company have no business interest in the company, yet still have input. The fly around in their jet and buy new Ferraris, then whine when their annual check from the biz isn't what they wanted. Not good. The whole family circus from the early 90's is back.

    I really hope the new management maintains the goodwill towards the employees that the company has maintained in the past. It's an excellent example of a company reaching out to its employees. I'm not optimistic, though.

    Sure hope some MBA management genius doesn't come up with loyalty cards. That would be the beginning of the death spiral.

    Good luck, MB.

    Glad it's not just me

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    I've also noticed an uptick in price over the past several months. I've mostly been shopping at the newer hudson store, so I'm not sure if it's chain-wide or just this location. It's still the nicest MB, so I'm still going here.

    Still... despite all this, I can still walk out of the store with a full cart for under three digits. You just can't do that at any other supermarket.


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    Last time I looked (which was some time back), some of the stores were named 'DeMoulas," and most were 'Market Basket.' This was a result of an earlier family feud over the company. I stopped watching the drama about the time Ed Koch stopped being The People's Court judge.

    Business Practices

    When it comes to my perception of business practices, MB seems to fly in the face of it. It seems to be standard practice to borrow money justified that borrowing for growth is good, minimal wages justified as it minimizes cost thus more profits, mediocre products justified as it is the most profitable, and etc. Basically how we view Shaws and Stop and Shop. Dead retail like Circuit City are also cited to follow similar strategies.

    Looking on the logic, there is some sense (minimum cost would mean larger margins). This should imply, it seems MB should have lost ground. Not necessarily not be profitable and be wiped out, but outgrown by the competition. In real life, it seems the debt avoiding and decent wage paying MB is the one that thrived . Meanwhile we watch Shaws struggle and other retails dead (like Circuit City mentioned above). Yet, the CEOs that keep returning to idea to try loyalty cards and everything customers complains about.

    This have continued to perplex me that American Company (or companies in general – but I hear things differently of European or Japanese operate) seems to follow such models way more than not. There’s a logic to it, but then there’s MB ignoring those practices and seemingly doing much better.

    Why is this news to the

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    Why is this news to the public! Who gives a sh-t..about Demoulas, who gives a shit about a billionaire, he's not paying my bills..

    It's the east coast Costco.

    The owner of that firm is very similar in outlook.

    It would be killer if Arthur T just built a new chain using his principles to wipe out the old.

    MB will probably slowly rise to the suckiness of the competition which must be rejoicing that these idiots have shot themselves in the foot.

    I wish that to be true, but I

    I wish that to be true, but I don't it is that simple for Arthur T to start a new chain. Even with Arthur T's proven principles, it is no guarantee it allow a new brand to get a foothold. Even if it does, years will still be needed to grow. That could be accelerated... but that would be ironic as the only way to pull that is by debt.

    My best hope is Arthur S will maintain the status quo with Arthur T switching role to retake the position as Arthur S did. I especially hope former Radio Shack CEO and the other one don't try any ideas.

    And Danny Wegman rejoices.

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    Hell, he might even be able to buy the Chelsea building at a liquidation sale.

    Seriously, I know the Arthurs despise each other; but doing this now? And I had thought MB had one of the better chances of surviving the Wegmans incursion.