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Sacking Demoulas

July 17, 2014

My first job was at the Shop’n’Save (Hannaford) in Seabrook.  It was a great job.  They has really smart managers who took great pride in product and presentation.  I was part of their transient work force.  We cam in for a few summers then went to college and got real jobs.

My second job was at Demoulas (Market Basket) in Seabrook.  Demoulas was not as polished as Shop’n’Save.  The store manager looked like he probably got his start sacking groceries.  If he did, good for him.  Rumor had it that he made $100,000 a year in salary plus as much in bonus running Demoulas’ flagship store.  Demoulas was a meritocracy.  If you sacked well, you got a shot at stocking.  If you stocked well, you got a shot at night crew.  The work force wasn’t transient.  Kids who were not going to college got an opportunity to be ‘full timers’ and a lot of those kids got a chance to be managers as Demoulas expanded throughout New Hampshire.  I love to run into a kid I sacked groceries with who is running his own store.

I run into those kids a lot because, as an adult, I have come to appreciate Market Basket for it’s value propositions — first rate product, great service, and terrific prices.

The Demoulas family has been a mess since I was a teenager.  Now the feud has resulted in the ousting of Artie as CEO.  This action has upset employees and customers of the grocer.  Employees have threatened an action if Artie is not restored as CEO.  The pretend CEOs have promised to replace employees who support Artie.  If they do that, a lot of other grocers will get better.  The board of directors (who owe their livelihood to Artie Demoulas) will meet Monday to discuss this matter.  I plan to call their switchboard tomorrow and let the operator know that I will not set foot in a Demoulas/Market Basket until Artie is reinstated.  If you would like to express an opinion on this, here is the number…

1 (978) 851-8000

The switchboard is open at 7:00am Monday-Friday.  Just politely inform the operator that you support the guy who has filled your shopping cart without emptying your wallet and will not patronize the company unless Artie is reinstated.

In this age of combative management-employee relations, it is rare that a corporation enjoys commercial success while satisfying its customers and sustaining its employees.  Artie Demoulas has done that.  Demoulas, Inc. will not.  Tell the ‘suits’ in the family, you support the grocer in the family.

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