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Your Tewksbury Today

We Are Market Basket: One Year Later, An Economic Perspective

Jul 25, 2015 11:23AM ● By Bill Gilman
(Editor's Note: One year ago, an historic employee work stoppage, coupled with a customer boycott, set in motion a chain of events that resulted in Arthur T. Demoulas taking control of his family company. The following column was first published on the web page

As we celebrate all that was accomplished last summer by associates, customers and vendors in our victory over greedy shareholders and their unscrupulous, tone deaf board members, we wanted to take a minute and look at a very significant byproduct of our efforts.

As has been reported recently, our shoppers pay on average 15.9% less by shopping with us versus our competitors. Part of our jobs day in and day out is to know what our competitors are up to and to be aware of their pricing. Our two most prevalent competitors, Stop & Shop and Hannafords, engage in zone pricing which we see in our travels and as we survey their circulars (Hannaford has front page chicken breast at $1.99 in North Conway, $1.77 in Lowell). If you travel to the Cape, live in central or western MA or up in the North Conway region, you pay much more for your groceries by shopping with them than the 16% difference here in MB Country.

Now let’s think back to last summer…

As we all remember, Hannaford’s parent company, Delhaize, was in very serious talks to buy Market Basket. From all that we have heard, it was almost a done deal before we essentially trashed their coveted asset. Had they succeeded the two major supermarkets in this region would be controlled by two foreign entities who maximize their profits whenever and wherever they can. Without Market Basket there to force them to lower their prices in order to try and stay competitive we can guarantee you that their pricing structure in this region would have changed dramatically. It is a safe bet to say that we wouldn’t be paying 16% more but rather closer to 25% more like we do when we travel outside MB country.

To keep it simple, let’s say we pay $10,000 annually in grocery bills. If ASD and his band of thieves get their way and Delhaize buys the company, we each pay $1600 more per year if they don’t touch prices. If they move to raise prices like we think they would have, we pay $2500 more.

We have 2 million customers…

Toss some numbers around in your own household and think of what you prevented when you helped Save Market Basket. Then think of your neighbors, your town, your state and your region. The economic impact of what would have happened is chilling.

Together we stopped it. It’s pretty damn amazing.

We Are Market Basket

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