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    Ex-Market Basket CEO Proposes Immediate Return

    Arthur T. still working to buy back company

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information

    Ahead of an Aug. 4 deadline Demoulas Supermarkets set for Market Basket employees loyal to ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas to return to work or risk losing their jobs, Arthur T. Demoulas offered to resume control of the faltering business at once to restore its stability while he keeps working “around the clock” to buy back the Tewksbury, Mass.-based company from a rival faction headed by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

    Market Basket hosted a job fair on Aug. 4 to look into hiring new workers, while currently employed Arthur T. loyalists planned a rally near the grocer's headquarters to take place on Aug. 5, as protests against the actions of the company’s board and management entered a third week.

    According to his spokeswoman, Justine Griffin: "Arthur T. [would] move immediately to return to work in advance of the completion of the stock purchase and work to bring back his full team to stabilize and begin to restore the business. … These steps are critical at this point and are in the best interests of associates, customers, vendors and shareholders."

    In an answering statement, the Demoulas Supermarkets board, which is controlled by the Arthur S. faction, dismissed Arthur T.'s offer to return, although it said it encouraged minority shareholders such as the former CEO to "continue providing constructive proposals." The board also reaffirmed its support for the company's current co-CEOs, Felicia Thornton and James Gooch, whom they appointed to replace Arthur T. in June.

    According to the Boston Globe, the company's directors have said that Arthur S. is mulling the sale of his ownership stake in Demoulas Supermarkets to Arthur T., but whether such a deal will actually go through is still unclear.

    As the two sides duke it out, the 71-store New England chain is running out of product because employees loyal to Arthur T. have stopped delivering it, while customers, either in support of the workers or because their needed items aren't in stock, are shopping at other stores.

    At press time, PG’s requests for comment from Arthur T.’s spokeswoman and Demoulas Supermarkets had received no response.

    By Bridget Goldschmidt, Stagnito Business Information
    • About Bridget Goldschmidt In addition to serving as Progressive Grocer’s Managing Editor, Bridget writes many print and digital features encompassing a range of grocery and fresh categories across the store. Bridget also enjoys on-site reporting assignments at such key industry events as the New York Fancy Food Show and the International Boston Seafood Show, in addition to visiting stores for PG’s prestigious Store of the Month feature. In her years with the magazine, she has developed into a knowledgeable voice on grocery industry trends, sought by such distinguished publications as The New York Times.

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