Market Basket launches its first websiteBy JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent
October 26. 2017 10:25AM
Market Basket launched its first website on Tuesday.
That's right. Its first. Ever.
"We felt the time was right to get out on the World Wide Web," said Joe Schmidt, operations supervisor at the New England grocery store chain's corporate office in Tewksbury, Mass.
Consumers have come to expect that all businesses have an online presence. However, the "More For Your Dollar" supermarket seemed to focus more on low prices and the face-to-face interactions with the people walking its aisles than the internet.
But it is 2017, after all. It's also Market Basket's 100th year in operation.
"Over time we've had some requests for an online presence. We pride ourselves on listening to our customers and their expectations," Schmidt said.
The website, www.shopmarketbasket.com, went live at 11 a.m. on Tuesday after a team spent the last year developing it for the company, which has stores in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Market Basket also entered the world of social media by launching accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at the same time.
"People are excited. We've had a lot of positive comments about the easy use of the site, the easy format," Schmidt said.
Schmidt said he hopes the website will be especially helpful to those who aren't regular shoppers.
"This is just an area where we can allow others that might not currently shop at Market Basket to come and check us out," he said.
The site includes links to digital and classic versions of its weekly fliers. It also provides information about store locations, store departments and contact information.
The site features a company history and timeline as well, including the headline-grabbing protests in 2014 involving employees who walked off the job and customers who boycotted the stores as part of a successful campaign to bring back CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, fired in a family dispute over control of the company. Under 2014, the website's history section reads, "An unprecedented summer that draws worldwide attention to Market Basket, where associates, customers, and vendors support a seven-week boycott. Over 25,000 associates and millions of customers united to keep management in place .... Justice ultimately prevails."
During an interview with the Union Leader in September 2014, Arthur T. Demoulas hinted at the possibility of someday offering a website, but explained why it was taking so long.
"We would like to get a website. We're a little old-fashioned," Demoulas said during a visit to a Market Basket in Londonderry. "We're probably the only company of this size in America that doesn't have one. Maybe we'll get on with that, and get with the time a little bit."
While longtime customers are well aware of Market Basket and its approach to the grocery business, many who aren't familiar with it went searching for a company website during the 2014 protests and were surprised not to find one — at least not one operated by Market Basket.
Since 2010, mydemoulas.net, launched by Michael Devaney of Manchester, has offered information on the supermarket, including locations, hours and the store's weekly fliers.
Current owner Jeff Chin of Newton, Mass., who acquired the site in May, said it has filled a void for customers. He's still assessing the impact the new Market Basket website will have on his traffic.
"Nowadays, people are interested in each location and how it operates. We'll continue to support them in that way," Chin said. "I think they are a great company."