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Market Basket turmoil disrupts plans for Warner liquor outlet

The shutdown of Market Basket locations across New England has stalled conversations about a new New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet in Warner.

New Hampshire Liquor Commission officials had been speaking with a real estate administrator for the Massachusetts-based grocery chain but those conversations are “on hold given the fluidity of the current situation,” said commission spokesman E.J. Powers.

The commission “is exploring other sites in Warner and is committed to bringing a new NH Liquor & Wine Outlet to service customers in the area in the very near future,” Powers said in a statement.

Market Basket owns 71 grocery stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, most of which have been effectively shut down by a workers’ protest after the ouster of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas last month.

Late last week, Demoulas submitted an offer to buy the business. So far, the board has not ruled on the offer, saying it is one of several on the table, and workers are still refusing deliveries of fresh produce and encouraging a customer boycott that has cost the company millions of dollars.

The chain owns the buildings that house its store, and often rents space in the retail plazas to other businesses.

It owns property near Exit 9 off Interstate 89 that the commission had been evaluating as a potential location for a new store, Powers said. The Warner location is one of three new outlets funded in the new state capital budget. The others are in Epping and Salem.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

Legacy Comments6

It is indeed unfortunate that some vendors that rely on MB had to suffer as well. Some woefully uninformed people have alluded to greed on the part of the MB employees. Hogwash, this is the culmination of years of infighting between 2 sides of a family. One side wanted to run MB as we have been accustomed to. Treating the employee's very well with benefits and higher than average pay. Keeping grocery prices down by purchasing goods with cash. Then there are the other relatives, or bloodsuckers as I prefer. They wanted to maximize shareholder profits, phase out the 4% discount, and in all likelihood eventually cut benefits and pay. They're first act of business was to take the excess cash on hand and disperse it to shareholders. This cash was what was used to get groceries at a discount by paying cash for them. Who do you think will pay for the sudden increase in the cost of goods purchased on credit? You got that right, we will. So before you spout off about the greedy employee's that are the face of MB, look at those stockholders that are reaping even higher benefits at our expense who add nothing to the business. Obviously you believe that it's the American way to get more more more at everyone else's expense.

This has brought shoppers to all our local farmers' markets who never bothered to visit them before. You can't get anything any fresher than buying it from the guy or gal who grew it and picked it this morning.

You alluded to this once before, crank, and it's just not true. Not in the kind of volume you've inferred at least. The bulk of MB's clientele are going to Hannaford's & Shaw's, at least until the battle is decided. Nothing against the local growers, but it's a matter of philosophy based on economics. Low prices are what brought shoppers to MB. They're not about to say 'hell with it, where are the $5 tomatoes?', just because MB is currently unavailable. Plus, I polled some of the growers at the Saturday Farmer's Market here in Concord. They confirmed what I suspected; you're dreaming.

Not only did the strikers derail a tax paying business from coming to town...they have also driven multiple farmers who supply goods to MB out of business....and you say corporate MB is greedy?

Greedy is as greedy does. Ask yourself (the only person whose opinion you seem to value) who gave themselves a nearly half billion dollar cash payout.

Citations please - excactly which farmers have been literally driven out of business? Which ones had to make a decision sell their farms in the last 2 weeks? Which ones had to burn over their fields and seek work elsewhere? And since when does the liquor commission pay local taxes in a location that they are renting? You, madam, are soaking wet.

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