Supermarkets contend with influx of Market Basket shoppers
Despite a heavy downpour, supporters showed up on the sidewalk in front of Market Basket Monday morning in Manchester. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
The Portland Herald reported on Monday that the Scarborough, Maine-based chain has moved employees from its stores in Maine to some of the company’s 34 New Hampshire locations, and in some cases even picked up the tab for them to stay in local hotels.
For the last 10 days, Market Basket workers have been calling in sick and heading to rallies and picket lines to demand that ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas be reinstated. The board of directors for the family-owned grocery chain fired Demoulas last month after years of intense feuding that has divided the Demoulas family.
The website mydemoulas.net, which is independent of the corporation, posted a Twitter report around 8:45 p.m. saying the board meeting had adjourned with no decision, prompting frustrated posts from supporters on the Facebook page Save Market Basket.
“I don’t know what is taking them so long,” one post said.
Jeffery Gulko, a spokesman for Shaw’s and Star Market, which has 28 stores in New Hampshire, said his company has definitely seen in increase in sales.
“This is so unprecedented and everyone is watching,” he said.
On Sunday, Jason Mihalko of Cambridge, Mass. sent a tweet to Hannaford’s complaining they weren’t prepared to for the extra business from Market Basket regulars.
“We’re sorry for this,” tweeted back Hannaford’s. “Please know we’re doing what we can to keep up.”
Charlie Harris, a Shaw’s employee from Medway, Mass., tweeted out his thanks to Market Basket workers for the extra hours.
“We’re seeing an uptick in business, but we’ve been able to absorb it,” said Sully’s manager, Mark Girardin, who describes the store as a “secondary supply” for consumers.
Although Sully’s has had to order more products, and ring up more customers, Girardin said there haven’t been any problems.
Girardin also said Sully’s knows the needs and expectations of the community.
“We have a similar dynamic that stresses customer service like the one at Market Basket,” he said. “We’re old school with a management style similar to Artie T.”
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