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@bwia said: What a saga. I didn't realize you were following the story so closely. Thanks for that. As Mike mentioned it would make for a good movie script but meanwhile it will be the subject for an interesting case study in business schools.
I've been following it as there are 6 Market Baskets within a 15 minute drive of my house. It's where I shop and I've wasted so much time wandering around Shaw's trying to do the weekly grocery run.
As a business case, it will be a great one. One doesn't often hear about employees walking off the job in support of a fired CEO. In the long run though, it will be interesting to see how T manages to deal with $1+ billion in debt while maintaining low prices and high pay.
A contingency plan should the sale fall through was announced by the company. They would close 61 of the 71 stores in order to reduce costs. I presume at that point they would consider selling real estate and then the smaller chain.
One business expert said that the tax liability on the sale is about $400 million tax liability. He felt that the sellers may be having second thoughts due to that.
@oldfarmer50 said: Boy this targeted advertising is getting good.
A few hours ago I googled some research about Muni bonds and now what do I find in the sidebar of this page? Yep, an ad for Muni bonds. No wonder Google is so profitable, your info gets sold the minute you click.
I just requested an online quote for tires. I wonder when the tire ads will flood my in box?
Google the band Bare Naked Ladies and see what kind of targeting advertising Edmunds puts on the sidebar.....
@bwia said: Sounds like a similar feud going on between two billionaire cousins at Market Basket. Don't know much about the company but the CEO was fired and in solidarity the employees and customers went on strike and will not return until their beloved CEO is rehired or is allowed to buy out the other family members.
First Market Basket is a family owned grocery store in Massachusetts, NH and southern Maine. Their prices are about 10-20% below the competition. They don't do double coupons. They didn't have a website until recently. They don't have loyalty cards. They don't have any debt and they have been expanding/remodeling stores recently. They did about $4.5 billion in sales last year and have a net margin of between 8% and 10%. A typical grocery chain is somewhere in the 1% to 2% range. The stores are mobbed and the deli line is at least 20 minutes - no matter the store or time of day.
Two cousins, Arthur T and Arthur S Demoulas, each head a side of the family.
T has been the CEO for a number of years and is beloved by the vast majority of the employees. Pay is good (cashiers can make $40K/year), health insurance is 100% paid, pension plan (yep a pension plan) is fully company funded, everyone (even part time clerks) get quarterly bonuses and the executives under T all started as baggers or stockers. Some employees have been there 50 years and many retire with 7 figure pensions.
T's side of the family holds 49.5% of the stock. S's side holds 50.5%. But the widow and daughter of S's late brother threw their support behind T because the widow was mad at S for something he said about the daughter's acting career years ago. Keep in mind, this is a Greek family :)
In 2013, the angered widow switched loyalties to S to give him control of a majority. With that majority, he could get the board to distribute a special dividend to the family. T was opposed because retained earnings is what he uses to grow the company. Shortly thereafter, the board of directors approved a $350 million dollar dividend to be divided among 9 the 9 shareholders on top of the $100 million in dividends it usually pays annually. In retaliation, T instituted an extra 4% discount at the chain for all of 2014 which pissed off S.
In June of 2014, the board fired T and two other executives. When that happened, the 25,000 Market Basket employees started to walk off the job and picket - first at headquarters and the distribution centers and then at the stores. The stores were still open and selling whatever they had but most employees spent their time putting up protest signs in the store, asking for signatures on petitions and picketing out front - some while on the clock.
In the past few weeks many employees have given up pay, the part time staff has been let go, the full time staff has been notified multiple times to report back to work and if they don't MB will consider them to have abandoned their jobs (precluding them from collecting unemployment), competing chains can't keep up with the demand with some bringing staff in from western MA, CT, ME, NY, some vendors have started to publicly call out the new management and S is looking to sell the company - which IMHO was his ultimate goal. T has made a bid of $1.5 billion for the S family 50.5% and supposedly it's been accepted but that was Saturday and not a peep from anyone.
Why do these two hate each so much? When their fathers (T=Mike and S=George) bought the single family grocery store from their parents, they vowed to take care of each other's families should anything happen. Well George died in 1971 and over the years, Mike managed to siphon off almost 90% of George's share. S sued his uncle in 1990 and the judge sided with him giving his side of the family 50.5% and a $205 million payback from Uncle Mike. At the time, T was active in the business and was found to have known what was going on. Further, T owns much of the real estate that MB pays rent to, he is accused of selling property to the company at inflated prices and two of his brothers-in-law head up the development company MB uses to build the stores.
What it comes down to is:
T and S hate each other and have for years T is the only family member involved in the business and he has a bit of a "see what I do" attitude S and rest of his family want out as they can't sell their stock to anyone else and they see T spending "their" money on new stores and employee pay and benefits The employees are afraid if S sells the company to anyone but T, their pay and benefits will be reduced The customers are stuck in the middle and although many claim to be boycotting, I think they would come right back to MB even if T wasn't in charge as long as the prices stayed close to where they are now.
Sorry for the long story. I love business dramas.
@abacomike said: robr2 said:
"Exactly. People of a more mature age enjoy procedural dramas like Blue Bloods, CSI, et al."
I still get a kick out of the re-runs of Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, CSI, House, Law And Order, etc. I guess I'm just "over the hill" so to speak.
In the eyes of advertisers, you are. You don't spend money on most consumer goods. When most of those shows were popular 20-25 years ago, you were a prime spender.
@abacomike said: At least they still air Blue Bloods, Suits, Muder In The First, Pawn Stars, etc.
I've given up on shows like Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Deadliest Catch - it's the same thing over and over. Pawn Stars - "I've got a buddy". Ice Road Truckers - the same graphic of a truck falling through the ice. Show me an actual fall and I'll watch again. Deadliest Catch - good haul, bad haul, swearing and family strife. Yawn to all of them.
I've been catching up on Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Game of Thrones. All dramas but not wrapped up neatly in 60 minutes.
@benjaminh said: The 2015 Passat 5-speed manual is also about $22k flat with destination, making it along with the Sonata and Mazda6 one of the lowest priced midsize cars in America. It's a heck of a lot of car for the money. They also throw in free maintenance for the first two years.
Except that the "free maintenance" is about 2 oil changes and will be going to 12 months/12,000 miles which is one oil change worth about $65.
When they went to the "free maintenance" they also dropped the warranty from 4/50 to 3/36.