A Missing Link

My posting has been extremely inconsistent lately, maybe even stretching over the past few months. The Red Sox season has a bit to do with that, but the main reason I can’t write as much as I would like is because of my job. Not just because I work there a decent amount, but because as of the past few months, the entire company has been entirely challenged.

Market Basket is a chain of grocery stores stretching over Mass., New Hampshire and Maine, at over 70 locations. They offer the lowest prices, with still decent quality, and have become one of the most successful companies in the area because of this, never going into debt even once since its birth many decades ago.

As of a month ago, the CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas was voted to be relieved of his duties due to a longtime family battle for power, as were avid supporters of him on the Board of Directors. His cousin, similairly named Arthur S. Demoulas took control of the company, much to most of the populaces’ dismay.

To make this man as a sort of James Bond type villian would not be far off, with the inability to come off as anything but slimy and greedy to those who are graced by his presence. During this firing, Arthur S. made few, if any, remarks, dealing with public relations as poorly as one could in such a scenario, and leaving people to rally behind Arthur T.

Arthur T. had quite a few fans beforehand anyways, being known for his generosity, people skills, and keeping the lowest man on the totem pole as happy as his fellow board members. This was the man that after seeing the support against his firing (the first attempt that is) of July 2013, not only gave very large bonuses to all employees the next two quarters but also made every price in the store 4% off for the entirety of 2014, much to the aggravation of his cousin.

Being accused for reckless spending and poor management by Arthur S., Arthur T.’s inevitable firing took place due to a change in posistion from one of the members of the board last month.

Arthur S., owning 50.5% of the company due to a legal case between their parents (the children of the founder of the company), seized control of operations thereafter hiring Jim Gooch and Felicia Thorton as CEO’s. Gooch, rated one of ten worst CEO’s by BusinessWeek and one of the top 5 worst by Wealthwire, was hired after his dismanteling of Radioshack and K-Mart, while Thorton was hired after her destruction of a similiar chain in the Midwest. They were supposed to help to sell the company to the highest bidder, increase prices and get the company as much money as possible before high-tailing it to the nearest bank.

Due to the imminence of not only higher prices, but lower benefits, wages and bonuses for workers, Market Basket warehouses threatened to shut down and stop all deliveries if Arthur T. was not reinstated by July 17th. The Board made no acknowledgements to the threat, and as the dealine passed, so to did the last trucks into any Market Basket.

Rallies started, with about 2,500 at the first, 5,000 at the second, and about 12,000 the last one Friday, and it seems like the word is spreading, even to places outside of New England.

No deliveries of food has put the Board in a tough spot, and the stores started to ask Friday for customers to begin boycotting Market Basket for the sake of their lower prices.

Arthur S. has not budged, just making poor PR choice after poor PR choice, and it seems like the end may be near for the once very thriving company of Market Basket.

Arthur T. has made an offer on his own company for the remaining 50.5% of his cousin’s company estimated over 2 billion dollars, though since this was presented last Friday there has been zero discussion outside of the meetings between the Board and Arthur S. as to whether this could be settled soon.

So yes, that is why I have been preoccupied, and now you are probably way more educated about this then you need to be. If you live in the area, please shop elsewhere for the time being.

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