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GLOUCESTER, Mass. -- John Martin Mugar, who worked for over 40 years at the Star Market Co. and eventually rose to become its president, died March 23 of natural causes at the Seacoast Rehabilitation Center here. He was 92.
At the time of Mugar's retirement in 1978, Star Market operated 61 stores in New England, an obituary in The Boston Globe noted. Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. acquired Star Market in 1999.
In the early 1930s, his cousin Stephen offered him a job at the first Star Market, a small family store in Watertown, Conn. He made about 18 cents an hour.
As president of the Star Market Co., Mugar helped implement a profit-sharing and retirement program for associates.
Mugar was at the forefront of the supermarket industry during the 1950s and 1960s. "He introduced many merchandising and management innovations, including unit pricing before it became mandatory in Massachusetts, and was the first in the industry to introduce in-store banking, florists, and book sales," a statement from his family read.
Additionally, Mugar, who was the son of Armenian immigrants, served on the boards of the National Associate of Food Chains and the Food Marketing Institute. He was a graduate of Tufts University and served on its trustee board.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, the former Helen Gienandt, three daughters, a son, two sisters, and seven grandchildren.