S. ATTLEBORO – The old Shaw’s store at Bristol Place off Route 1A in South Attleboro near the Pawtucket line is giving way to a new much larger Market Basket store at the same location.
The old building has been torn down and this week steel girders were beginning to frame the planned 80,000-square-foot Market Basket store.
Stephanie Davies, senior land use planner in Attleboro’s Planning Department, said Friday the old Shaw’s, which had been closed by the supermarket chain in 2009, was demolished to make room for the new Market Basket development.
The work will include construction of the new supermarket and also a redesign of the park area and access routes to that portion of the commercial plaza.
Although South Attleboro has been weathering the region’s economic downturn along with the rest of Massachusetts, Davies said the new development showed the promise of new commercial growth in the community. “I would say it is a good sign for Attleboro,” she said. “I think things are picking up.”
Market Basket, a 71-store New England supermarket chain based in Tewksbury, Mass., has been expanding in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and will soon open a large store in Biddeford, Maine, its first in that state, according to David McLean, Market Basket’s director of operations. The Biddeford store is opening at the site of a former Lowe’s store.
McLean said the chain will be opening a new store in Hudson, Mass., on June 1 that will be similar to the store going up in South Attleboro.
“We have been very fortunate to have the support of our customers, who have accepted of our brand and identified Market Basket as what they are looking for, and also because we have exceptional employees who have helped us grow our business,” McLean said.
While some of its newest stores are in locations like Attleboro, the company is also rebuilding and expanding its older locations and providing their customers with updated shopping opportunities such as a larger selection of grocery goods, 60,000 different items in the larger stores, and new offerings of food items from around the world, according to McLean. The stores also offer an expanded variety of ready-to-eat meals prepared the store’s Market’s Kitchen location, including take-home meals or sit down meals to be enjoyed a private seating area with big screen televisions and wifi connections. The new Market Baskets also host a Market’s Café selling coffee, lattes, juice, and pastries in-house, and for those who desire fresh made sushi-- the chain’s Niji Sushi counters where customers can watch their sushi meals made by trained Sushi chefs. The stores also offer the traditional supermarket offerings such as a bakery, a meat department with the highest grade of Angus beef, a salad bar, deli and seafood, and produce departments.
McLean predicted the new Market Basket at the Attleboro/Pawtucket line will be popular with customers because of its variety of food offerings and food pricing values.
“We are thrilled to have to the opportunity to bring ‘more for your dollar’ shopping to closer to the Rhode Island border,” he said. When completed, the store is expected to employ 300 to 400 employees, with some of number being employees coming from other Market Baskets in the area and the rest newly hired.
With work now under way on the building, McLean said the store’s opening should occur before the end of the year. “Our intent is that it is going to be this year,” he said. The company, which operates a store in Bellingham off Route 140 and Route 495, has the experience of opening several new stores in the past year, including its first on Cape Cod near the Sagamore Bridge that McLean said was “very well received,” and also additional new stores this year including a large store in Nashua, N.H., that will replace another of the chain’s existing outlets. The new store in Biddeford, Maine, will be one of the largest stores in the chain with over 100,000-square-feet of space, he said.
Market Basket started out as a small family market opened by two Greek immigrants, Anthanasios “Arthur” and Efronsini Demoulas in Lowell, Mass., in 1916, according to the company’s history. The Demoulas later sold their store to two of their children, Telemachus and George Demoulas, in the 1950s, who in turn expanded it into a chain of 15 larger DeMoulas stores within 15 years. The supermarket chain now operates exclusively under the Market Basket name while members of the Demoulas family remain involved in the company.