Shaw's Supermarkets

Shaw's Supermarkets

company_name = Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc.
company_type = Subsidiary of SuperValu
company_| company_slogan = Crazy About Food
key_people =Jeff Noddle, Chairman and CEO
Mike Jackson, President and COO
John Hooley, Executive Vice President; President, Retail East
foundation = 1919 (East Bridgewater, Massachusetts)
location = West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
industry = Retail
products = Bakery, dairy, deli, floral, frozen foods, grocery, liquor, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, sushi
homepage =

Shaw's, along with sister store, Star Market, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based SuperValu. The company is presently the second largest grocery group in the northeastern United States, the largest being Stop & Shop (although Shaw's is the largest supermarket chain whose stores are located only within the six New England states). The company is based in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts and employs roughly 30,000 associates across New England.

Shaw's was acquired by Albertsons in 2004, which acquired the chain from J Sainsbury plc for $2.5 billion. In 1999, Shaw's acquired the Star Market chain of supermarkets. Star Market was formerly owned by Investcorp, who in turn purchased the chain from American Stores in 1994. American Stores had acquired Star Market through its hostile takeover of the Jewel Companies, Inc. in 1984. Jewel acquired Star Market in 1961.



In 1862, George C. Shaw opened a small teashop in Portland, Maine. Meanwhile, Maynard A. Davis established a group of small downtown grocery stores in Brockton and New Bedford, Massachusetts, called Brockton Public Market or BPM. In 1919, Mr. Davis purchased George C. Shaw Company and made it a subsidiary of BPM.


As George C. Shaw and BPM stores continued to grow, it was decided that a central grocery warehouse would be needed for the future growth of the two companies. In 1961, a warehouse in Brockton was purchased.

By 1965, George C. Shaw had begun to move into other areas of the state and into northern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This expansion, combined with BPM's growth in volume in southern Massachusetts, moved the companies to build a distribution center in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1972. In the 1980s a new warehouse was built in Wells, Maine, and in January 1991 Shaw's opened a distribution facility for perishable food items in Methuen, Massachusetts.

In 1978, BPM stores in Massachusetts changed their names to Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc. to maximize advertising. It was the first step in the contemplated merger of the two companies.

In November 1983, J Sainsbury plc, then the UK's largest supermarket group, purchased 21% of Shaw's outstanding stock. In June 1987, Sainsbury's acquired controlling interest.


J Sainsbury plc acquired stores from four other New England food retailers: Iandoli's (1987), the Edwards Food stores, Cerrentani's (1993) and the Star Market Company (1999).

In 1995, Shaw's entered the state of Connecticut. It started with five brand new stores, and in 1996 Sainsbury purchased twelve former Edwards Supermarkets and two future sites from Royal Ahold.

The largest supermarket chain to join the Shaw's family is the Star Market Company. This acquisition strengthened Shaw's position as the second-largest supermarket company in New England. Like Shaw's, the Star Market Company had humble beginnings and a long line of "firsts" in the supermarket industry. Star was the first New England supermarket company to have air conditioned stores, the touch method of ringing registers, in-store check verification, refrigerated cooked foods, self-service wrapped meats and packaged produce.

Distribution center closings

In November 1999 J.Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets closed the Star Market Distribution Center in Norwood, Massachusetts, putting 300+ Local 25 Teamster members out of work. [cite web| url=| title=J. Sainsbury to close Bay State warehouse| publisher=Boston Business Journal| date=1999-09-15| accessdate=2008-07-17] The distribution center had been open for nearly 30 years. Teamsters Local 25 gave J.Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets an extension on the soon-to-be-expired labor contract in May 1999 to bargain in “good faith”.

In 2001 J.Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets closed the Shaw’s Distribution Center in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, putting 400 UFCW members out of work. J.Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets stated that these warehouses were “not centrally located in its service area, and the necessary physical expansion is impossible.” [cite web| title=Shaw Supermarket's to eliminate 335 warehouse jobs| author=Chris Reidy| url=| date=2001-07-11| accessdate=2008-07-17]

C&S Wholesale Grocers now does the majority of work that was performed by the two union-based distribution centers. C&S is the largest non-union grocery distribution company in the United States. At the time of these distribution center closings, C&S's distribution center/headquarters were in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Albertsons and SUPERVALU

In 2004, J Sainsbury sold Shaw's to Albertsons for $2.48 billion. On June 2, 2006, a partnership of SuperValu, CVS Corporation, and several investment firms including Cerberus Capital acquired Albertsons with the intent to divvy up the parts. SuperValu received what is generally thought of as the best-performing assets, which included Shaw's and Star Market, along with other well-regarded regional chains such as Acme Markets (Philadelphia) and Jewel and Jewel-Osco (Chicago).

In late August 2006, Shaw's announced it would be closing down 6 underperforming stores on October 28, 2006. These stores were located in New Britain, Southington, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, and in Worcester and New Bedford, Massachusetts. [cite web| url=| title= Shaw's to shutter local stores| author=Jason Pheasant| publisher=New Britain Herald| date=2006-09-02| accessdate=2008-07-17] [cite web| url=| title=Shaw’s to shutter Worcester store; Grafton Street market missed targets| author=Bob Kievra| publisher = Worcester Telegram & Gazette| date=2006-09-14| accessdate=2008-07-17] [cite web| url=| title=Shaw's closing South End store in October| author=Curt Brown| publisher=The Standard-Times| date=2006-09-01| accessdate=2008-07-17]

In September 2007, Shaw’s closed its stores in Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, because of poor sales. A third store in Waterbury, Connecticut was also closed. The closings left Shaw’s with 12 stores in Rhode Island and 204 throughout the Northeast. A total of 224 workers were laid off or transferred.

Osco Drug

Before it was acquired by Shaw's, Star Market Company had been part of Jewel Companies, and while Jewel owned Star it built many combination food-drug stores that it branded as "Star-Osco," with common checkstands but separate management teams. While it owned Star, Jewel built many stand-alone Osco Drug stores in New England as well. After Jewel was acquired by American Stores in 1984, the Star-Osco stores were re-badged as Star Markets, and placed under a single management team. In 1999 Albertsons acquired American Stores and in 2001, Albertsons sold its 80 New England Osco Drug locations to Jean Coutu group, which added them to its Brooks Pharmacy group. When American Stores sold Star Markets in 1994 to Investcorp, the Osco connection was ended, or so it seemed. But when Albertsons bought Sainsbury's American supermarket assets in 2004, including Star Markets, Star and Osco were reunited under one corporate umbrella. By 2005, the signs on the front of all of Albertsons-owned grocery stores with in-store pharmacies were changed, adding either "Osco" or "Sav-On" to the store's logos, to emphasize the one-stop shopping available inside. The drug store name chosen reflected which of Albertson's drug chains operated in the specific marketing area. Because New England had previously been an Osco market area, the Shaw's and Star Markets with pharmacies were renamed "Shaw's-Osco" and "Star-Osco."


The Shaw's Supermarket's history comes from the most recent version of the Shaw's Associate Handbook.

External links

* [] official website

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