June 28, 2009

GOING HANK REARDEN ON SHOPPING BAGS?

Rebekah Allen of Concord came to Market Basket yesterday to do her shopping, and planned to look for the new trash bags required by the city’s pay-as-you-throw system. The bags were not there.

Market Basket, alone among Concord’s major supermarkets, has decided not to stock the trash bags. Their logic is simple: Why sell an item for which the store gets no profit?

Allen, when told of the decision, said she would still shop at Market Basket, and she did not mind going to another store for trash bags.

“I think it’s a bad program anyway,” Allen said of pay-as-you-throw. “I agree with (Market Basket).”

By refusing to sell the purple pay-as-you-throw bags, Market Basket has inserted itself into the controversy over a new trash system that will require Concord residents to pay for each bag of trash they throw out, beginning July 6.

Market Basket’s decision was made on the corporate level, not at local stores. David McLean, operations manager for Market Basket, said the company is reviewing its policy in Concord and in multiple other communities where pay-as-you-throw has been instituted. Market Basket has 59 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

“All of a sudden, all these towns are taking on these programs and wanting businesses to subsidize the towns and do it for nothing, and have their customers foot the expense of carrying those products,” McLean said. . . . “They want businesses to buy the product, pay for the product, pay for losses incurred if bags disappear, to manage the product, warehouse the product, and then turn all the money over to a company in South Carolina that sends most of it to the towns or cities,” McLean said. “There’s no profit, no gain.”

Well, good for them. Let the towns pay for their own programs.

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