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Despite Fears, Market Basket Not Leaving

Reading Patch responds to your questions, finds that Market Basket will stay put.

The rumors of ’s departure have been exaggerated.

Over the past few weeks, we at Reading Patch have gotten a number of emails from readers concerned that their beloved supermarket would pack up and move out of town due to a lawsuit filed by the nearby Stop and Shop.

Well, they were half-right.

Stop and Shop filed a suit in November of 2007 that named Danis Reading LLC, the company that owns the Market Basket property, along with the Town of Reading’s Zoning Board of Appeals and each of its members as defendants.

But, lawyers for Stop and Shop and Danis settled their dispute in September with, as far as we can tell, no tangible action required by Market Basket.

“Nothing in the litigation would require Market Basket to do anything,” said Kevin O’Flaherty, a lawyer with Goulston and Storrs.

His firm represented Stop and Shop in the suit, which O’Flaherty said was dismissed after the parties came to an agreement—though the details of that agreement are confidential.

Whatever they are, they don’t seem to impact Market Basket shoppers. Management at the store said that, as far as they knew, the store was staying where it is.

The suit alleged that Danis had violated town zoning laws with its building plan, and the Zoning Board of Appeals had violated its duty by approving that plan—though the grocer dropped its claim against the town well before dropping their claim against Danis.

In the suit, Stop and Shop pointed to the Danis property’s lack of rear setbacks and plans for a structure too tall for town standards as reasons that Reading should have rejected the developer’s construction plans.

But, the board said, Danis was allowed to infringe as much as it did on its rear setbacks because it was a pre-existing condition of the property, and the structure that was too-tall for town standards was merely a piece of ornamentation—and empty tower never meant to hold people inside.

In the end, the suit ended with no party changing anything—at least, not publicly.

M November 02, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Funny, all the rumors I've ever heard about that site have been not that MB is leaving but rather that S&S would be leaving due to low sales, allegedly to be replaced by Christmas Tree Shop. Gotta admit that S&S is relatively empty most of the time, except at holidays...I go there for selected items that would fill a hand basket, or when I absolutely must get something on a weekend morning. On a weekend morning I don't even want to drive through the MB parking lot on my way to S&S!
Mr White November 02, 2011 at 07:53 PM
While I agree that Stop & Shop is a bit more expensive than MB I find the selection and overall shopping experience to be much more to my liking at Stop & Shop. I also find that Stop & Shop is a much better neighbor to the community than MB. Stop & Shop supports many of our local organizations through donations such as allowing the Girl Scouts to sell cookies or the Cub Scouts to sell popcorn on their premises. This is all managed at the local store level and is very easy to deal with. MB requires submission of all requests be faxed to their corporate HQ in Tewksbury and you hope to hear back from them. That is if your request is before Nov 1st or after Jan 31st, they do not allow any fund-raising on site during the holidays, which of course is the best time to fund-raise. I feel as a community, we need to support those businesses that try and give back and be part of the community. To me, Stop & Shop does that and MB does not, Stop & Shop gets my $$. Oh, btw, the discount on gas doesn't hurt either:)
Jonathan Pickering November 03, 2011 at 04:47 PM
Just so all our Reader's know, there is a debate going on over talking about Stop and Shop vs. Market Basket and other grocery stores in this article. http://reading.patch.com/articles/poll-which-local-grocery-store-do-you-prefer
Tom January 16, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Stop and shop is a "bit" more expensive? Your kidding right? Ever hear of the Demoulas foundation? Get your facts straight!
John Carpenter January 17, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Maybe it's just the pattern of what I typically buy, but I find the Market Basket prices to be lower, and stuff is easier to find in the store. Yes, there are a few things that S&S carries uniquely, and I go there for those. As an added bonus, I usually meet a few neighbors while in Market Basket - but not as many as with the "good old days" at Atlantic! There are a lot of helpful comments in the question series that Reading Patch did last Fall, regarding local shopping preferences. Market Basket's parking lot is fuller most of the time for a good reason. People vote with their feet and their cash. jc
Dave Miskinis January 17, 2012 at 01:13 PM
MB far exceeds S&S when it comes to customer service. It is not unusual to see a MB employee in every aisle of the store, particularly when they are busy....which is most of the time. I can't tell you how many times I've asked where an item is located and the employee walked me right to it.....or if the item appeared to be sold out, they went to the back to check for more. The same question of a S&S employee typically is met with a blank stare or "I don't know." That is if you can find someone to even ask for help.
Teresa March 01, 2013 at 02:15 AM
MB is less costly, S&S has some better products, but when buying for a family of 4 or more MB is the place to go on an week to week basis, I go to S&P for special occasions, one time buy or quick get in and get out stuff. They should both be there, friendly competition, let the Best Market win.
Ron Powell March 01, 2013 at 05:27 AM
The gas points and the better selection make Stop & Shop a better value for our family. It's hard to beat getting 40 or 50 cents off per gallon of gas. Do that a couple of times a month, and you've saved $20-$30 on gas. Stop & Shop's Shopping Buddy means that you don't need to ask a clerk where an item is located, how much it costs, if there are any coupons that can be applied, or what your total amount will be. I have not had the need to ask a clerk a question in about five years.
Me and me May 05, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Fed up with both? I am. Shop Lucci's in Wilmington. Local business, wonderful deli, homemade food by Susan, a Lucci herself. Plus, there is a Dunkin Donuts drive thru right there.

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