Shaw's Supermarkets is the #3 grocery bagger in New England, behind Stop & Shop and Hannaford Bros. The company operates about 155 stores (with a heavy presence in the Boston area) under the Shaw's and Star Markets banners in five New England states. Most Shaw's stores feature Wild Harvest departments, which offer organic, preservative-free foods. About 90 locations house in-store pharmacies. The company also markets products under its own brands, such as Equaline, Happy Tails, HomeLife, and Shaw's. Shaw's Supermarkets, which traces its roots to 1860, is owned by AB Acquisition LLC, an entity controlled by the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
AB Acquisition operates Albertsons stores under Albertson’s LLC and ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, and Shaw’s and Star Markets under New Albertson’s, Inc. Shaw's Supermarkets was one of five grocery chains sold by former parent SUPERVALU in March 2013 for an aggregate price of $3.3 billion to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm specializing in distressed securities and assets. The sale followed the elimination of some 700 store-level positions at Shaw's and Star Market stores in late 2012. SUPERVALU had acquired Shaw's in 2006.
Massachusetts is the regional grocery chain's largest market, home to about half of its stores. New Hampshire is next with more than 25 locations. Shaw's also operates stores in Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Under its new owner, Shaw's has ambitious plans to expand the Star Market chain (acquired in 1999) by converting many Shaw's stores into Star Market locations. After the recent conversion of four Shaw's supermarkets to Star Market stores, there are now 18 in all with plans to boost the banner's store count to 30 locations by mid-2015.
Key markets for Shaw's and Star Markets are Boston, where the grocer has a retail market share of nearly 17%, and Portland, Maine, where it competes head-to-head with Hannaford Bros. Under the leadership of Shane Sampson, who was named president of Shaw's in March 2013 following the sale of the store to New Albertson's Inc., Shaw's trimmed its store count in New Hampshire in fall 2013, with the closing of about half a dozen stores there. Meanwhile, the grocery chain is investing in its stores in the Boston area, where in late 2013 it reopened four supermarkets after revamps that showcase new layouts and design emphasizing fresh-foods and improved customer service. Also, a new Star Market grocery store is set to anchor the redevelopment of the former Boston Garden arena, fulfilling the company's effort to locate a store in northwest Boston.