2 New Hampshire Towns Say Market Basket Behind on Payments

Add a couple of New Hampshire towns to the list of upset Market Basket vendors.

SeacoastOnline is reporting that officials in Newmarket and Exeter may temporarily suspend sales of garbage bags to Market Basket because the grocery chain’s management has fallen behind on bills. Market Basket buys some towns’ designated blue bags, which some municipalities use as part of local “pay-as-you-throw” waste removal programs. Those towns’ residents can then buy the bags at nearby Market Basket stores.

Town officials say they have had trouble securing payments since Arthur T. Demoulas was fired as CEO. Payments due on July and August have been late, with more than $23,000 outstanding—including more than $11,000 overdue—to the two towns, according to the report. A payment due in early July would have come due shortly after Demoulas’s June 23 firing and the resignation of several senior level employees the following day, but before many workers walked off the job on July 18 and several key workers were fired on July 20.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

In a statement from a spokesperson Monday, Market Basket placed the blame for vendor issues on the July 18 employee walk-out at headquarters and warehouses.

Steve Fournier, the town administrator for Newmarket, tells Boston.com the town has sold to Market Basket for more than 10 years, and payments have always been received early—usually within two weeks of billing.

On Monday, several local food and beverage vendors told Boston.com that Market Basket management had overpaid them in recent weeks. The erratic financial situation was enough to cause some vendors—including seafood company Boston Sword & Tuna—to cut off business to the chain.

The Boston Globe reported Monday night that the two sides of the Demoulas family will try to reach a resolution to this summer’s Market Basket standoff by the end of the week, and that company executives have agreed not to fire anybody or close stores as discussions carried on. The report also indicated that Delhaize, the Belgium-based parent company of Hannaford, is still in play as a possible buyer, in addition to former CEO and 49.5-percent-owner of the company Arthur T. Demoulas. And the Globe reported that Delhaize has approached Arthur T. about running Market Basket if it ultimately winds up in control of the chain.

An update from the Globe said no progress was evident by late afternoon Tuesday.

h/t SeacoastOnline

Check out more Boston.com coverage of the Market Basket saga.