Independents Grow in Massachusetts

Feb 03, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Big Y Foods, Demoulas and Roche Bros. all have something in common, says the Boston Business Journal. Each is a smaller independent chain thriving in New England despite competition from grocery giants, Stop & Shop and Shaw’s.

Big Y is entering the Boston market from its western Massachusetts base and the grocer is optimistic about its prospects. “We think we have some inherent advantages. A little bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, we’re just right,” said Charles D’Amour, chief operating officer, Big Y.

The chain’s “just right” approach to business includes in-store child care, a homework help line and stores that are 100 percent Big Y. The supermarket does not lease space to outside companies such as banks.

Kevin Griffin of the Griffin Report of Food Marketing, says the success of companies such as Big Y, Demoulas and Roche Bros. is due to the companies’ history serving consumers in the Massachusetts. Mr. Griffin believes that these smaller chains are able to cater to shoppers better than the larger chains. Many shoppers also prefer the small store environment of the independents.

Moderator’s Comment: Is the Massachusetts grocery market
unique to others in the country? How do you see the market shaping up in the

Anderson – Moderator

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