Market Basket as dinosaur

Market Basket dinosaur

Stevil captured this bit of art yesterday at Figment Boston on the Greenway.

Copyright Stevil. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.



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    Yeah it's a lot more funny

    ..when you live in a 3 million dollar dump in the Back Bay than it is when you are some fixed income wretch who is extremely vulnerable to food cost spikes.

    But then the one percent isn't noted for sensitivity to these things and they probably think getting hosed for food prices is a form of status.


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    What does that have to do with this?

    for the record - I do all my shopping at Shaw's/Star, Stop n' Shop and occasionally Target when I'm in for other staples. Even in my (rare) ex-urban travels there is not much other choice.

    I'm actually a big fan of Arthur T's philosophy of taking care of his employees and just made my first Kickstarter contribution yesterday to Jay Childs' Arthur v. Arthur - which I think will likely be a lot more favorable to T. than S.

    I just thought the "Demoulasaurus" was kinda funny/ironic.

    It's a perfectly fine photo.

    Well composed and what have you but it is of an object, so we're left with the object as reference for comment.

    I was at Mama Ginas in Union Square getting a sub yesterday and the big screen teevee had news blaring away about MB.

    If you pay any attention to things like inflation updates, they stroke em by saying inflation is still minimal except "for the volatile food and energy sectors".

    No skyrocketing price hikes on iToys and plasma Teevees but coffee is going through the roof.

    And the thought of losing Barney to a bunch of pathological leeches has the peasants in a bit of a borderline panic.

    Just sayin.

    Update: I just read a useful article at the Lowell Sun, the heart of Demoulastan.

    The funny part is a reference to Wegmans as the main comparable every day low price biz model.

    It is a trend. People are sick of jumping through marketeer hoops to buy groceries so the no bullshit every day cheap approach is hard to top and the real dinosaurs are these limping things like Shaws.

    You sure like words

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    but maybe not reading so much...

    Coffee costs are going up to due environmental factors, not due to 1% greed or whatever your point was. Hopefully you can get enough aluminum foil at Market Basket to rework your hat.

    tl: dr - Brazil drought + fungus = coffee prices increasing.

    As for Market Basket, it is admirable that Artie T is taking care of his employees but it is not admirable how he has apparently siphoned profits from the entity which Artie S and the other shareholders co-own into the real estate holdings which are wholly owned by Artie T's wife.

    From the article you referenced: "They said Arthur T. was "openly defiant" of the board, had a "dictatorial" management philosophy, withheld information from directors, let profit margins erode, and made illegal business deals with a company owned by his wife and brothers-in-law."

    From a article: "The latest Demoulas family feud burst into public view last month when relatives of Arthur T. Demoulas filed legal papers accusing him of mismanagement and engaging in “self-dealing” transactions in which he directed tens of millions of dollars to real estate businesses owned by his wife and brothers-in-law. Arthur T. Demoulas said the deals in question were fully vetted and cleared by an outside arbiter."

    It's still to the overall good if Artie T runs the show, but let's not pretend he's some noble guy. He appears to be a dirtbag who's hiding his corrupt scheming at the corporate level behind some very progressive actions at the store level.

    Reading fails are common.

    The place offers price stability.

    MB has had the same price of 3 bucks for a brick of Bustelo for the entire 8 years I've been back here.

    Through bean crop failures and fungus. Through commodity speculation and all the natural disasters coffee beans fall prey to ... 3 bucks!!!!

    At Shaws, today

    I don't really care if he is Satan to his stupid cousins.. 3 Bucks!!!

    I prefer old school lead as the tin is too feeble.

    And I don't give a shit what the Globe says, never did. 3 Bucks!!!

    The Heralds sux too 3 Bucks over eight years is a track record.

    Got it

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    Coffee prices haven't changed only maybe they did only it.

    "No skyrocketing price hikes on iToys and plasma Teevees but coffee is going through the roof."

    MB has set up an interesting and successful grocery store model. Shaw's failure to do the same isn't necessarily 'parasitic capitalism' but a different business operating with a different cost structure. Bad for them, good for MB. You, the consumer, wins due to competition. Or you can also go to Shaw's and pay $1.49 more for enough coffee for say, 7 days, so $.21 per day. You're all bent out of shape because coffee might cost $.21 more a day, if you chose to go to Shaws and you can go through a can of coffee in a week. First world problems indeed.

    Since you are interested in historic costs, ponder this one -

    Gosh darn those capitalists, inventing stuff people want and use. Don't worry, if your life improves too much, you can move to Venezuela and check out socialism. I hear the gov't tells the resellers what a 'teevee' should cost down there. I'm sure it's all going to work out great.

    Oh wait, you've already pointed out you don't read newspapers. Never mind.

    Wow, Yay Capitalism!!!!

    For someone who claims to value reading, this is a hilarious bunch of conflation, convoluted logic and bits of inept grammar and spelling as if English were a second language.

    Look, greed booster.. I'm focused on the basic prices of daily things in my life and the less time I have to spend grubbing money, the more I have to make trail videos, read stuff or swat nitwits.

    I'm sure iToys are beyond bitchin' and maybe even make a mean mixed drink while giving you a neck massage, but I don't give a shit.

    But,... making it simple.

    Bustelo Coffee Price.

    MB 3 Bucks!!!
    Shaws $4.49.

    Which means Shaws adds an additional 50% for the same thing but adds no value other than the exalted experience of shopping at Shaws.

    That's quite a markup. It is often called Price Gouging.

    I read all sorts of things all the time but I have quality standards that shitty Boston papers rarely rise to.

    Curating that stream is one of Adam's great contributions to a better world.

    And I don't give a shit about what televisions cost in Venezuela or Kiribati, Kirghistan or Kuala Lumpur.

    There are several flavors of this capitalism thing you so blow but I only care about the fair regulated version. If I want maximum Laissez-Faire, I'll move to Mogadishu.

    And innovation is over rated.

    If you are real good and wish fervently upon a star, maybe those nice vulture capitalists will let you have a big house and lots of munneez too. They do love a good apologist and the pay is killer.

    Adam Smith called.

    He wants his argument back even though it has been mangled a bit.

    I am reading this, if you

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    I am reading this, if you really want to wrath at grapes and such, weo , Johnny !

    The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America's Richest Society
    by Ronald Kessler

    The wealthiest, most glamorous, decadent, self-indulgent, sinful spot on earth, Palm Beach is home to billionaires like Donald Trump, trust fund babies, women addicted to staying beautiful, and the sophisticated "walkers" who escort them.

    In this juicy, entertaining book, New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler introduces you to some of the most fascinating and bizarre people you'll ever meet. And he reveals the social rituals that culminate in the season, a five-month whirlwind of parties, balls, and charity events that no one who is anyone dares to miss. The very rich are very different. Find out how in The Season.

    I don't get it... where are

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    I don't get it... where are the 3 million dollar dumps in the Back Bay? Damn, Chris Rich, you must be a loaded trust fund brat if you think there are multi-million dollar dumps anywhere in the city of Boston! Guess you're not familiar with the concept of work ethic and integrity which is why you are anti the hard-working Market Basket employees who are standing behind something they believe so strongly in.

    Not art

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    Not art!

    Well , they are going to

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    Well , they are going to force a sale, maybe T will prevail , maybe other parties. Then the law of unintended consequences will come into play. I would guess that they become part of Shaws ( maybe rekindle Star Market brand ) or the Hannaford chain. Cousin S would be wanting to extract some revenge , to save face , and maximize the value of his shares.


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    if I had to say.. and it pains me to say this.. that if Artie T isn't successful in buying out the rest of the shares, I would take a strong educated guess that Kroger would be interested in buying the DeMoulas SuperMarket chain.

    They are one of the last national chains that isn't in the northeast under some iteration.

    At least with Kroger, they tend to keep local brand alive, as they have done with several other chains (i.e. Harris Teeter, Ralph's, Smith's, etc). (except the store brand would become the non-descript Kroger brands like S&S does)

    I used to shop at Kroger when I lived in Atlanta, where they are the majority grocer for the metro area. It's not much better or worse than Stop & Shop. I am curious to know how Harris Teeter is now, as back then, it was a much better store (and better run) than the nearby Kroger (to where i was) when it was a separate company. And if its the same, then we could expect some of the same if DeMoulas was to become a subsidiary of Kroger.

    I just don't see any other potential buyer except maybe Cerberus (the vultures of retail). And I especially don't see any other competitor who has stores already in MA and NH being all that interested.

    Shaw's parent (Albertson's) is in no position to buy, since they (Albertson's) were just bought by Cerberus. Plus in NH, in many towns that have Market Basket, the alternative (outside of WalMart) is Shaw's, state regulators may have something to say about that (considering Shaw's sucked up alot of independent grocers in NH in the 1990s along with Star and Purity)

    Stop & Shop (Ahold USA) I just don't see all that interested in buying Market Basket, since so many Stop & Shops in MA are located right next to Market Baskets, and again many towns/state regulators may have issues with this since one store would have to close. Although, buying MB would give S&S a large foot hold in NH, where it has none (after exiting NH several years ago)

    And C&S Grocers.. I just don't think they have the cash to buy it out right. C&S barely hangs on. Same with Price Chopper, Roche Bros, Big Y, and yes, even Wegman's.

    So my guess is Kroger.

    C & S has their hands full

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    C & S has their hands full with A & P down NY way . Narrowing it down, I think Cerebus will enhance their critical mass in the supermarket arena, and dismantle the real estate. Dont think the NE area is too viable for further outside chains development ,especially with Weg trying to cleave a portion of it.Shaws bought Star , S & S bought Purity.

    In NH

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    Where I am from.. Purity Supreme became Shaw's because at the time S&S was not interested in the NH market.

    " In November 1995 Stop &

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    " In November 1995 Stop & Shop acquired Purity Supreme, a chain based in North Billerica, Massachusetts, for about $255 million. To satisfy regulators, the company had to divest 17 overlapping stores, meaning that it gained a net 38 stores through the deal. The purchase also temporarily extended Stop & Shop's territory into New Hampshire, but the units in that state were soon sold off. Also gained with Purity was a 64-unit chain of Li'l Peach convenience stores, but this noncore operation was quickly divested, in mid-1996, to Tedeschi Food Shops Inc. of Rockland, Massachusetts. "

    Thursday, August 15, 2013
    " HUDSON – A decade-long presence in New Hampshire will come to an end for the Stop & Shop grocery store chain Friday, when all six of its locations in the Granite State close their doors.

    Stop & Shop announced this week that Aug. 16 has been selected as its final day in business in New Hampshire. The company will close its stores in Hudson, Bedford, Milford, Exeter and Manchester,"

    NH just doesnt have the critical mass that S & S requires , too many miles ect.

    I Can't Imagine Anyone Else Buying It Now

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    If another supermarket chain wanted to move into New England, they'd be better off starting fresh and building new stores from scratch, rather than taking on all the baggage at Market Basket right now.

    The staff is in total revolt, with an unconditional demand to restore their former CEO. They're not going to instantly cooperate with another outside buyer, and would likely be just as hostile. A new buyer would have to make enormous concessions to gain any loyalty from existing employees. Or, if they fired them all and tried to hire new people, it would sow even more seeds of ill-will in the community.

    Just being seen carrying a Market Basket shopping bag is politically incorrect right now (unless of course, it's being used to create artwork). Changing the signs from "Market Basket" to "Sainsbury's" won't make any difference in the public's eye because everyone knows what's been going on. It's hard enough for any new brand to become established in an area, why would anyone want to buy into such an uphill battle?


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    I don't think its a very attractive purchase for any existing chain to buy DeMoulas right now. This is why ATD is the best man for the job, if they are looking to sell it.

    But if I had to take a guess, I'd say Kroger (or Cerberus). Market Basket is small enough to give them a large enough foot print to make a go of it. Plus Kroger is known to buy other chains and keep the brand alive, which is key. Unlike Cerberus, which would fold it into Shaw's.

    Up in Demoulastan

    ...the Lowell Sun hints that George's kids were a bunch of layabouts who weren't interested in running much.

    This would tend to make the Mike side pretty territorial if they did all the heavy lifting to build the business and the brand.

    And T's debt aversion may admit special situations in the way debt used to be before generations of feckless imbeciles decided debt was a feature and not a bug.

    Look at the ruins left by loose bank leverage for any swashbuckling jackass with a big stupid idea.

    It makes me miss the tight money days when Volcker ran the show.

    Kind of reminds me of this

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    Kind of reminds me of this movie , : Other People's Money

    Other People's Money is a 1991 drama/romantic comedy film starring Danny DeVito, Gregory Peck and Penelope Ann Miller. It was based on the play of the same name by Jerry Sterner.

    S & S has been in and out of

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    S & S has been in and out of NH. If they could exterminate MB up there and fill the vacuum, perhaps. If Ahold did buy MB, maybe a joint purchase with Hannaford, where H gets NH stores. Think Ahold is gun shy of the rural NH but would like to exterminate the MB in competing areas, boost up their critical mass in existing stores.


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    Remember, plastic bags are just recycled dinosaurs!

    Market Basket

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    We are all watching this sad story of a supermarket where many of us shopped. Its employees have set up boycott lines while continuing to observe their employment schedules and customers are refusing to shop at these markets, with resultant damage to their food budgets. Business has dropped seriously, 40% to 70% depending on who does the estimates. All the speculation about who or what will buy this company is interesting, but given the level of determination on the parts of employees and customers, perhaps some thought should be given to what really will happen. New company with the ATD philosophy in hand? Same old same old? Some folks might want to consider the reality of unintended consequences.

    One interesting consequence

    is an avocado fire sale at Shaws.

    It's 88 today cents when they are usually nearly 2 bucks per avocado there. Produce broers must be in panic mode.

    Somerville Stop-n-Shop

    The one by the Arlington border had a "we welcome market basket customers" sign up. Seriously. They also had someone to help with loyalty card applications and several of the things I normally get at market basket were conspicuously on sale as "manager's specials".

    They clearly see the mayhem as an opportunity to woo shoppers away for the long haul.

    Well , all that produce that

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    Well , all that produce that was designated for MB has already been picked and shipped, it's got to go somewhere. JB Hunt that is trying to service the MB stores is the house carrier for C & S , who also supplies the Shaw's I believe. Hunt displaced our own Somerville carrier , who also is the carrier for S & S , at C & S. Some produce goes to the NE Produce Center in Chelsea by the sea, no longer by the King of Arthur , some might go direct. There is also a local facet to the produce too, see:

    Unintended consequences

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    I bet Artie T. is maybe rethinking the shady real estate moves which prompted his cousins to oust him, yes.