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Tue June 24, 2014
The Cult Of Market Basket: Super Market Chain Bags Big Online Following
To read NHPR's story on Market Basket's CEO ouster, click here.
A DeMoulas family feud has Market Basket workers and customers questioning the grocery chain's future. A two decade long argument came to a climax on Monday when long time president Arthur T. Demoulas and two other executives were ousted by the company's board led by Arthur T.'s cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.
Market Basket is a chain known for its low prices and historically low-frills retail spaces. Surprisingly, the supermarket chain lacks an official website. Despite this lack of digital savvy, consumer loyalty to the Market Basket brand has inspired no shortage of tribute websites, parody accounts, and social media fan pages.
During this week’s whirlwind of disputes and firings, online traffic has spiked around these Market Basket spin-off sites. Here are links to a few of them, where you can see the kind of conversation this latest Market Basket controversy has sparked:
Although not run by the official Market Basket parent company, this Facebook page is purely promotional and offers fans of the brand discounts and giveaways. Interestingly, this week, during the
Arthur T. force out, negative posts and comments on the Fan Site have been deleted by the moderator. This begs the question, who is really behind this page?
Run by a group who calls themselves 'We Are Market Basket,' this website also has a highly active Facebook page. The mission statement on the site reads:
“This website has been set up to give the people of Market Basket a forum to read opinion pieces and
see public documents related to the current crisis brought on by Arthur S. Demoulas that threatens the existence of the company.”
This website has worked as a rallying place for disaffected Market Basket employees to discuss their admiration for Arthur T. and their distaste for the new management. The website has also acted as an organizing tool for rallies against the new management.
Today, as fellow NHPR Intern Hallie Loft and I stood outside Market Basket, angry employees sporting face paint exited the store en route to a rally in Massachusetts. With over 18 thousand likes, the website is expecting a massive turnout to support their leader.
This parody account is run by an anonymous blogger and has 33 thousand likes. Its chief focus is to capture the unusual people and entertaining visuals that crop up in the store. Examples include the various misprints that appear throughout the store’s signage.
Note: Enter the page at your own risk for some of the blog topics are NSFW.
A Protest Hashtag:
Arthur T.Demoulas' firing has caused another online trend, #MBstrong. Time will tell if this particular hashtag catches on.
Do you know about another Market Basket inspired fan site? If so, send me an email and I'll add it to the blog!
All Things Considered