How not to run a business; or, How to run a business into the ground

A good article in the New Hampshire Business Review on the ongoing Market Basket Saga, which I capitalise because most articles describe it that way now, with “fiasco” running a close second:

Market Basket: A business case study for decades

Pastry case inhabited by domesticated Giraffa camelopardalis

The company is communicating solely via press releases written in that special Corporate Regional English that says little but does impress some business school graduates*, plus memos, some to managers and some to all employees via their mailboxes – their physical mailboxes, I mean – that vacillate between threatening and quasi-conciliatory. They’re not actually speaking with anybody, whilst employees and customers have so far held five rallies with thousands of people in attendance. The delineation between winners and losers here seems clear.

*I imagine some of them as Father Jack: “Leverage! Calibrate! Drink!

On Friday, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick wrote to the Market Basket board of directors with an offer to help mediate, saying “By any measure, the disruption caused by your recent change in CEO has gotten out of hand, and I am writing to urge you to find a prompt resolution.”

Meanwhile, my freezer slowly empties and I haven’t done a proper grocery run in nearly a month. The latest figures I saw say their revenue is down 92-95% depending on the store.

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2 thoughts on “How not to run a business; or, How to run a business into the ground

  1. samtyler says:

    I don’t doubt that. Both the stores in Portsmouth are nearly empty and I’ve not seen more than a half-dozen people in either. It’s creepy to go there with the stores so empty.

    We’ve changed up most of our shopping, but Hannaford is too costly and Shaws.. well.. meh. So it’s off to the Farmer’s Market first thing tomorrow, then up to York and hit the greengrocers there. Have been hearing good things about Tendercrop Farms that is where Tuttle’s Rad Barn was, and for sure their fields are planted with LOTS of variety – which is a nice change. Will get out to Dover sometime in the coming week and check it out.


    • lalmon says:

      “Tendercrop Farms that is where Tuttle’s Rad Barn was” reminded me of that day I briefly took on the form of a cliché when I told someone to “take a right at the fork where the red silo used to be.” Yes, of course he was from out of town.

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