Market Basket

Todd Bookman/NHPR

In the back of the Stratham Market Basket, his apron spotted with blood, Tom Brady reflects on his peculiar rise to fame.

“When Drew Bledsoe was there, nobody even knew my name.”

They do now. Fifteen years after football’s Tom Brady took over for Bledsoe, launching a Hall of Fame career and a Patriots dynasty, Market Basket’s Tom Brady can’t go anywhere without seeing or hearing his own name.

Not that he minds.

“Not at all. Only if he loses,” he says.

There was a certain admiration for a century-old supermarket chain as it bucked trends and refused to go online.

Even when Market Basket launched its official website this week, it did so on its on terms. The site is more informational than transactional, like an online brochure rather than a retail outlet.

“They seem to be twenty minutes late to the party launching a website, but they weren’t going to do it until it was strategic and right for them,” says Jay Childs.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR


A documentary film about the family feud that embroiled the Market Basket supermarket chain is set to premiere at the Boston International Film Festival.

"Food Fight: Inside the Battle for Market Basket" will be shown during the festival on Friday and Saturday.

The documentary chronicles the power struggle between cousins Arthur T. Demoulas and Arthur S. Demoulas that came to a head when nonunion workers at the Tewksbury, Massachusetts-based chain walked off the job in 2014 because they wanted longtime President Arthur T. back at the helm.

Jeff L / Flickr/CC

Even as this feud was still going on, back in the summer of 2014, experts on labor unions, corporate governance, and employee culture were noting just how unprecedented the boycott was. Now, there's a new book and a forthcoming film examining this epic battle and exploring its ramifications.


By all indications, Market Basket is surging after last summer’s unrest sparked by the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

The New England-based supermarket chain is projecting $4.8 billion in sales this year, up from $4 billion last year. And the company is expanding, with a new Market Basket under construction in Rochester.

But one unique aspect of the company is its complete lack of an online presence.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

It’s now been a year since operations at the supermarket chain Market Basket, a family-owned company with 75 stores across New England, came to a standstill as employees and customers rallied in support of Arthur T. Demoulas.

He was ousted as the company’s chief executive in June of 2014.

Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

Here is the most dramatic, exciting news I could find about Market Basket in June 2015: the grocery chain is going to open a new store in Rochester next spring.

A documentary is in the works that chronicles the Market Basket saga that unfolded last summer.

“Food Fight – Inside the Battle for Market Basket” is a project directed by Portsmouth filmmaker Jay Childs.

You can learn more about the film on the project's Kickstarter page.

He was there with his camera to capture the story as workers protested and customers boycotted the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

The 4 percent discount that Market Basket shoppers enjoyed on most purchases for the past year is coming to an end.

The New England supermarket chain introduced the discount in January in response to high energy costs and cutbacks in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Company officials tell The Boston Globe the plan was always to phase out the discount, which ends on Saturday.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

A tumultuous year for Market Basket is coming to an end with Arthur T. Demoulas formally in charge of the company.

Demoulas and his family announced Friday that they have completed the purchase of the 50.5 percent of the company that was controlled by his cousin. Demoulas offered $1.6 billion in the buyout proposal in August.

Other details of the deal weren't disclosed.

The nearly century-old supermarket chain based in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, has 73 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

The morning after officially kicking off her campaign for re-election, Governor Maggie Hassan joined Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demulous in Londonderry to thank workers for their dedication.

Calling Market Basket a “New Hampshire institution,” Hassan said the company exemplifies fair treatment and respect for employees.

“Your efforts all summer were a heartening display of dedication, of loyalty, and really what’s possible when people come together,” she said.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

Market Basket is looking to new customers as well as old as it begins its recovery from a six-week employee walkout and customer boycott.

Store managers of the New England supermarket chain say they are seeing a lot of new faces in the food aisles since the board of directors agreed to sell the company to its ousted leader, Arthur T. Demoulas.

Employees have been working around the clock to restock store shelves. Managers say they expect to be nearly fully stocked this weekend.

Wikimedia Commons, User Rlaferla

The turmoil at Market Basket actually dragged down U.S. jobs numbers last month.  

In the August jobs report issued Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment disruptions at a grocery store chain in New England” is cited as having an impact on food and beverage employment numbers nationwide.

The sector saw a job loss of 17,000 last month.

How does a deal like the $1.5 billion buyout of Market Basket work? What did it take Arthur T. Demoulas to gain total control of the 71-store supermarket chain from warring relatives? It was complicated — from start to finish.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The long road back to normal began at Market Baskets across New Hampshire Thursday.

A deal was signed late Wednesday night to sell the majority shares of the company to former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas for more than $1.5 billion.

Since his ouster in late June, workers have protested, customers have boycotted, and sales have plummeted.

In Hooksett, walking into a Market Basket for the first time in more than a month, Alicia Smith of Allenstown couldn’t help but let out a cheer.

Joe Topichak / Flickr/CC

This supermarket standoff has attracted national attention for its unlikely coalition of customers, workers, managers, and suppliers organizing against top executives, while traditional unions have been on the sidelines. We're looking at how these events fit into the changing landscape of organized labor, and where unions may be headed next.


Brady Carlson/NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan praised a deal reached late Wednesday night that has former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas taking majority control of the embattled grocery chain.

In the deal announced by Market Basket’s shareholders, Demoulas purchased the company for more than $1.5 billion.

It brings to an end an epic family feud that brought the New England grocery chain to its knees.

Market Basket Standoff Hits 40-Day Mark

Aug 27, 2014
Ella Nilsen / NHPR

In several theologies, including the Greek Orthodox faith of the Demoulas family who own Market Basket, 40 days and 40 nights is symbolic for a prolonged period of trial and suffering.

This story originally published by WBUR.

“This is evil,” said Cheri Nolan who is a general manager at Andover’s Indian Ridge Country Club, which Market Basket owns. “They just want to destroy the company. In my opinion, they are evil.”

Market Basket employee Karen Bostwick, of Tewksbury, has filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, contending current Market Basket management is “violating the right to picket and strike.”

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

Nearly 1,500 Market Basket workers have applied for unemployment benefits since the company stopped giving hours to part-time employees earlier this month.

New Hampshire Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis says claims are still coming in as the department figures out which employees are eligible.

“Over the weekend things have pretty much leveled off. We were at 1,445 on Friday and we’ve only picked up 20 since then.”

No Deal Yet For Market Basket

Aug 23, 2014
Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

The family feud that has brought the Market Basket supermarket chain to its knees may be nearing its end.

Ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has reportedly made a $1.5 billion offer to buy out the part of the company controlled by his rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, and his allies on the board.

The board was scheduled to meet Sunday but the meeting was called off due to disagreements over some terms of the sale.

The bitter five-week standoff that has cost thousands of Market Basket workers their jobs and prompted a customer boycott may be drawing to a close.

Ousted Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas submitted a final offer to buy his family’s grocery chain on Friday. The details of the offer have not been made public.

A Market Basket representative says the board is scheduled to meet Sunday or early next week to discuss his final bid.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Some New Hampshire food and beverage vendors who supply Market Basket's shelves say they're backing workers by no longer selling products to the beleaguered grocery chain.

Moonlight Meadery of Londonderry makes honey wine, and the company's founder, Michael Fairbrother, says Market Basket was his biggest retail client, accounting for about one-third of sales. 

Val D'Aquila via Flickr CC

The governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire are stepping up efforts to broker a deal to bring the Market Basket standoff to an end.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan actively participated in negotiations Sunday with feuding cousins Arthur T. Demoulas and Arthur S. Demoulas as well as several other shareholders.

The grocery store chain has 71 stores, all but one in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

A Patrick spokeswoman says the "the parties have made real progress" and are encouraged that a "resolution may be within reach."

Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

The former CEO of the Market Basket supermarket chain who is attempting to regain control of the company from relatives says "onerous" terms are preventing him from buying a controlling share from those family members.

Arthur T. Demoulas said in a statement issued by a spokeswoman Sunday that his offers to buy the company "have been rejected, not on the basis of price, but with counterproposals that have been laden with onerous terms that are far beyond comparable transactions."

Demoulas was fired in June by a board controlled by his rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

The state’s unemployment office says it’s starting to see requests for unemployment from part-time Market Basket employees who’ve had their hours cut.

New Hampshire Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis says as of noon Friday, 227 workers had filed for unemployment benefits.

“Highest volume was in the Portsmouth location of that and the second highest was in Salem.”

He expects that number to rise drastically next week, when the company’s part-time employees see their hours cut.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

An estimated 8,000 part-time Market Basket employees in New Hampshire may be without a paycheck next week.

The embattled supermarket chain announced Thursday that with sales plummeting from customer boycotts, part-time employees would no longer be scheduled for hours starting Sunday.

Part-time cashier Susan Mawson was standing outside the Londonderry Market Basket, her sign pledging allegiance to Arthur T. Demoulas torn and tattered from weeks of protesting.

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

The state’s employment security office is letting laid off Market Basket workers know they may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

This comes as the company has announced that starting Sunday, part-time employees will no longer be scheduled for hours.

In a statement, the employment security office says it has provided Market Basket store managers with information for workers about filing for unemployment benefits.

Roger Wood

An estimated 12,000 Market Basket employees rallied in Tewksbury today, as workers continue to put pressure on the company’s Board of Directors to reinstate ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Dave Mansur is the produce manager for the Concord Market Basket on Fort Eddy Road.

He was at today’s rally and joins All Things Considered to talk about what happened.

Can you set the scene of what was happening down in Tewksbury?

As the standstill surrounding the supermarket chain Market Basket enters its third week, the store is following through with its plan to hold job fairs — first to entice existing Market Basket employees to apply for higher positions, and then for the general public.