Rizzo Calls on Demoulas to Open Store

May 20, 2014
By

Echoing the frustrations of virtually the entire city, Mayor Dan Rizzo sent a strongly worded letter to the Board of Demoulas Supermarkets (Market Basket) this week asking them to open the new, but vacant, building at Northgate or the City will look into legal options.

The Market Basket coming to Revere was a highly popular move and one that looked to be an anchor in the revamping of the Northgate Shopping Center. It was and is one of the most highly anticipated developments in the city. Construction on the store finished in July 2013, and a family squabble within the company led to the store never being able to open.

It still sits vacant.

“We have a two pronged problem,” said William Marsden, director of operations for Demoulas Super Markets Inc. “First, the Board of Directors of Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. took control of the real estate operations of the company last July against the advice of management and they have failed to complete the real estate deal with the Developer. Second, the relationship between the Board and management is so dysfunctional, difficult and problematic that at this time Market Basket management is unsure of the future, and it remains unclear when the next new store can or will be opened.”

“I am now confronted with the consequences of my decision in relying on the economic viability and potential of Market Basket,” wrote the mayor. “The signs in the area advertising Market Basket at its highly visible location on one of the busiest roadways in the city are daily reminders of the new supermarket that is not open for business.

“In addition, the Revere City Council has grown impatient and is now requesting me to provide information regarding a definitive opening date,” he continued. “Like me, they too view the behavior of this organization as one that has not been consistent with the positive image and reputation that has been built over decades. I would appreciate a response. In addition, I am turning this matter over to the City Solicitor to explore whatever legal options may be at our disposal in order to rectify the situation we unfortunately find ourselves in at present.”

Rizzo also detailed in his letter, which was addressed to Board Chair Keith Cowan of Atlanta, how there has been a series of unanswered communications to him.

“I am not accustomed to writing such letters, but this matter has been festering for some time now, including numerous unreturned phone calls to representatives in Tewksbury, and at least one unanswered email to you,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, I am left with few options.”

Rizzo also said he was very disappointed with what was once a very exciting development.

“Having a brand new vacant and unused business facility was never part of my vision for economic growth when I took office in January 2012,” he wrote. “Our citizens welcome the opportunity to work and shop there, and I believe the City has been an eminently patient host.”

  • Shayna

    It’s about time! So maddening. Let’s call Whole Foods!!!! I bet they’d love to open here, we’d love to have them!

  • Voice Reason
  • minismom

    this does not surprise me – not one bit. Wonder if the City of Revere would sue them for non performance of a contract? the Board of Directors has trashed that company so that the other half of the family can play a game of upsmanship! Would hope that ATD takes them back to court to regain control and puts the company back on even keel.

  • Lindsay

    oh and the “savings” of 4% is a crock…what they really did was increase their prices, and “cleverly” marketed it as a “savings”. I have noticed a lot of the things I bought regularly, the price has gone up and stayed up consistently..then it is that 4% and sometimes the “sale” price, is the price it USED to be. For example: MB brand pop-tarts were always .99 a box..now they are $1.19–and go on sale for the .99–but not very often. crazy!

  • matt

    Lindsay there are price increases every week we strive hard to keep the cost down but we cannot afford to operate at a loss. So yes some items have gone up. You also need to take into account outside factors i.e drought in california, shipping and transportation costs. So yes were sorry that prices have gone up some things but imagine paying that without the 4 % off.

  • Crystal Stugard

    That’s just normal inflation. They can’t help the price of gas and tthe ingredients for the food is going up. Artie T did what he could and many times has put items on sale under the price of even making a profit on it so I’d say we should be Greatful that they still have some of the best prices around.

  • Crystal Stugard

    Not with their prices, people want market basket because it’s quality stuff for way less than any competitor around.

  • Buddy

    Lindsay, you are 100% WRONG!!! The 4% isn’t a “crock” as you put it. It is a true gesture by Authur T to give back to the customers. Yes, prices may have gone up, but that’s due to the price of the product going up through the suppliers.

  • zachary

    Prices will continuously rise as long as we have fiat currency, money backed by nothing no gold or silver. So if you want prices to go down maybe you should pay more attention to what your government is doing and less attention to people magazine…

  • georgemcleod

    Thank You Mr. Mayor for repsresenting a very popular view of the people of the city of Revere, as I am one of them.

  • mlkrgr

    Another MB employee pumping their own company. My take: the pricing on MB’s new products is ridiculously high. The regular and sale price of the natural turkey breast that was introduced during the 4% promotion is $2 cheaper at Hannaford, and goes on sale for $1-$2 less at Shaw’s (at least the regular price of this is in line w/ Shaw’s so you save $.40 w/ the 4%). Hard to say whether it’s regular pass through or not though. Shaw’s and Stop & Shop at least North of Greater Boston has been getting a lot more competitive in recent months.

    Re: the Revere store. I wouldn’t be surprised if Revere sues MB over this.

  • mlkrgr

    Stop & Shop is pretty darn competitive especially lately w/ coupons they send in their circular (if you are signed up to get this) or what they send out for mailers, or however they decide to send it. They allow any store coupon to be combined as advantageously as possible so it can get pretty darn good if you know what you are doing. Example: got a pint of organic ice cream, a larabar, 3.5 lbs of bananas, and 3 boxes of cheerios for $2.50 after 2 $.75 off coupons and a $5 off $15 store coupon. The organic ice cream normally sells for $4/pint there, and goes for $5/pint at Whole Foods. I do see Trader Joe’s is more competitive than Market Basket.

  • ben0548

    YES mr mayor the people of revere support you here lets get demoulas market basket open soon at northgate we deserve this. all of us

  • Chris

    sounds like a lot of work too me. Market basket giving you the saving without that foolish card. No need to sign up for anything..

  • Guest

    It’s time for the Market Basket board to fish or cut bait. Either open the store or sell it to a competitor. The current situation is unacceptable.

  • Guest

    The 4% off promotion is a ridiculous gimmick – just lower the actual shelf prices and be done with it! Between the pricing games and the constant fighting I’ve forsworn MB for my grocery shopping. It’s sad to see them go down the tubes, but that’s where greed gets you.

  • Acquabalm

    I’m not an employee, but a long time customer of market basket. If you are so unhappy with MB go to Shaws or Hannaford and compare, then come back and speak. Both are more than 20% higher in price! and an independent marketing firm conducted this study. Market Basket was and continues to be cheaper on a daily basis than any of its competition.

  • Italod

    One of the best communications I’ve heard come from our city and mayor in a long time. This whole whacked family feud thing and disorganization is ridiculous. Speaks volumes about how this Board, or the family, think (or do not think) of their customers, including new potential ones in the Revere area. I cannot fathom that they would let their operation stay standing, vacant, and empty as it is, to the extent that they have in order to spite themselves. Get with it, Demoulas Family!

  • Italod

    I think that S&S has really gone down the tubes. Maybe because the one on Squire Road took up a lot of the clientele from the former one near Shirley Ave., I don’t know, but it’s become a lot dirtier, disorganized, reshuffled, and often low or out of stock on many brands and items that they used to stock well and consistently. And lots of problems with their self-serve lines and hugely backed-up cashier lines. Going grocery shopping used to be kind of a kick. Now everybody out there are animals, and blocking aisles 2 or 3 people across while stopping cluelessly right then and there to talk or text constantly on their phones, oblivious to whomever is trying to get by or around them.

  • mlkrgr

    It depends how you shop and all the independent marketing studies I’ve seen are at least a year old now which reflect the previous Shaw’s ownership (it’s been a year now since they were bought out) and the prices are easily down 15-20% in Rockingham County in NH. Right now, any Shaw’s North of 95 is pretty competitive once you consider 3 day sales, the $5 off $50 they always have and that can be easily obtained at Recyclebank, and overall promotions with a reasonable amount of substitution w/ brands and having cod instead of haddock b/c of sales, etc. I’ve done some $60 sales at Shaw’s and compared the prices against MB and it’s around their ballpark (meaning it’s a 5% difference either way). So I compare a ton. Hannaford is probably the least competitive I’ve seen them in years. I know they were once at 5/6% over MB pricing; but wouldn’t be surprised to see if it’s actually 15%. Trader Joe’s is easily lower than MB for similar items as well. MB is probably the worst it goes in terms of service too. The S. Nashua and Hudson NH MBs are so crowded that it actually takes me less time to shop Trader Joe’s and Shaw’s altogether than MB alone unless I can shop during offpeak hours. Instead of expanding the register area in Hudson NH they put a Market’s Kitchen in when they gave it a makeover; prepped foods are the highest margin item in a supermarket so you know where their head is at. And Hudson NH MB has had a problem w/ lines for a long time on weekends/holidays. Yet, I can get in/out quickly out of Stop & Shop w/ an almost full lot of cars in the parking lot at 10 pm the night before a snowstorm the night before a snowstorm (vs the 20 at most or so there would be usually). It is a joke that Consumer Reports rates them the same for service vs Hannaford. This story just shows you how ridiculous the management and board at MB really is.

  • Joe

    If you’ve shopped Stop & Shop lately, the cashier will still put in the courtesy card if you say you don’t have a card. So that makes any of the stores that have discounts when you pay with their credit card more gimmicky. I do have to say Stop & Shop has improved their game a lot in recent weeks. I love their store brand deli meat and now it’s actually decently priced now that it’s down to $5.99/lb everyday for turkey or ham. And shopping Trader Joe’s is a lot less cumbersome than MB or S&S; no need to compare among 8 different box sizes/brands of Cheerios and everyday low prices on like items are still on average lower. I think this article shows how bad the management/board at MB really is. They got a big tax break from Revere; they should be worshipping that town and its people.

  • drensber

    Revere needs to stop this funny business of making special agreements with businesses that want to build large-scale projects (whether supermarkets or casinos). This model of development works OK for large wealthy cities, but not so well for a smaller city like Revere, where smaller scale organic development tends to produce much better results (but, admittedly, would have much less potential for corruption by the dirty old men who run Revere). Instead of asking why we don’t have another mega-store out by Route 1, people should asking questions like why there’s no grocery store at all (not even a small one) on Revere Beach Blvd.

  • drensber

    Revere is the wrong demographic for Whole Foods. If WFM had any interest in building a store in Revere, they’d have bought Revere’s Johnny’s Foodmaster store and converted it into one at the same time that they bought and converted most of the other Foodmaster stores in towns that have more progressive leadership.

    WFM kind of sucks and is getting less trendy by the minute anyway, so Revere may have actually lucked out on this one (even if for all the wrong reasons).

  • space ghost

    Do your research. The 4% was thought up by ATD when he knew the board was trying to remove him. It’s essentially the 4% they are taking off every single order is estimated to equal last year’s profit after they pay employees, bills, etc. Making it so the BOD d doesn’t make Jack at the end of the year.

  • concernedcitizen

    Because people in West Revere are so high-class?

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