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Shaw’s and Star Market remodel supermarkets in bid to win back shoppers

“The stores need lots of tender love and care.” says store president Shane Sampson (left), with employee Byron Toney.
“The stores need lots of tender love and care.” says store president Shane Sampson (left), with employee Byron Toney.Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff photos

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There is a grocery store in Chestnut Hill where employees in chef’s hats slice cheeses and deserts, bake breads, roll sushi, serve up sandwiches and make hot meals behind sparkling glass counters. Prices are fair and the aisles are immaculate.

This ideal market isn’t a Whole Foods store or boutique neighborhood grocer. It’s a Star Market, remodeled in a fashion that will be repeated at as many as 20 Shaw’s and other Star Market stores in the next year in attempt to revive the struggling New England chains.

New owners who bought both Shaw’s and Star Market for $3.3 billion five months ago are embarking on a major transformation. The changes—remodeling stores, lowering prices and adding inventory and employees—are an attempt to stop years of financial bleeding.

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