The Demoulas supermarket chain is ripe with family history all rolled up into numerous Market Baskets. Demoulas Super Markets runs some 70 grocery stores under the Market Basket banner in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Market Basket supermarkets are typically located in shopping centers with other retail outlets, including properties owned by the company through its real estate arm, Retail Management and Development (RMD), Inc. Begun as a mom-and-pop grocery store, the chain has since transformed into a traditional, yet modern, concept. The business is run by CEO Arthur T. Demoulas who recently won a pitched battle for the company.
Arthur T. Demoulas was restored to the position of CEO in August 2014 after being forced out in June. A boycott of the chain by employees and customers ensued. Arthur T. in late August reached a $1.5 billion deal with his relatives that will see him purchase the 50.5% of the company owned by shareholders led by his cousin and rival Arthur S. Demoulas.
Demoulas operates 40-plus stores in Massachusetts and nearly 30 locations in New Hampshire. The chain plans to enter Maine with a Market Basket store in Biddeford that's slated to open in 2014.
Demoulas's stores rang up an estimated $4.3 billion in sales in 2013, up from about $3.9 billion in 2012.
The regional grocery chain is expanding at a brisk pace, adding stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and expanding northward into Maine in 2014. The Biddeford site (formerly a Lowe's home improvement store) totals 107,800-square feet and is typical of the large stores Demoulas favors. Indeed, in 2009 the regional grocery chain opened a 135,000-sq.-ft. store in Chelsea, Massachusetts, that it claims is the largest in the state. While the company does not operate its own website or offer online shopping, a Manchester, New Hampshire man in late 2010 created a website for the chain called MyDemoulas.com that lists store locations, hours, phone numbers, and sales circulars. Demoulas emphasizes price in its bid to compete with rivals that include Shaw's Supermarkets, Hannaford, and Walmart Supercenters.
To cater to customers' appetites convenience and prepared foods, Demoulas has begun adding Market's Kitchen departments, which offer submarine sandwiches, panini, rotisserie chickens, salads, and more to its existing stores and most of its new locations. Many new stores also feature a dedicated seafood department that makes fresh sushi daily.
The company was founded in 1954 when brothers George and Telemachus "Mike" Demoulas bought their parents' grocery store. The men agreed that, upon one brother's death, the other would care for the deceased's family and maintain the firm's 50-50 ownership. In 1990 George's family alleged that Mike had defrauded them of all but 8% of the company's stock. The 10-year court battle was decided in favor of George's family, giving it 51% of the company. By then Mike had resigned as CEO; he died in 2003 at age 82.