There were 97 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “Could North Conway support four grocery stores?” Eight people said they think North Conway can support four grocery stores; 24 people said they did not believe North Conway could support that many grocery stores. Sixty people said they were happy to hear a Market Basket was coming to town. Due to space limitations, a portion of the responses are printed below.
Yes, this is Carl in Kearsarge. Absolutely we can support another grocery store in North Conway. The other ones, Hannaford and Shaw’s, are so ridiculously expensive. Market Basket is cheap; I’ve shopped there a lot with my wife. Get something in there that can save folks some money; there ain’t no jobs.
I’m a 64-year-old senior and I’m all for competition — more stores — I think it’ll help the community. And it’ll give everyone in the community a chance where there’ll be a little more choice in prices and competition.
This is Dan in North Conway. I believe that having more competition in the grocery business will lead to lower prices. Our prices are already pretty high in the valley and this competition could lead toward more competitive prices and be better for the consumer.
Absolutely we can support four stores. Maybe it’ll shake up the other two that are too expensive.
I think North Conway could support more grocery stores because once people realize how awesome Market Basket is, they will stop going to Shaw’s, which is so expensive and start supporting Hannaford, Market Basket and Walmart.
Please bring the Market Basket to North Conway. If we have Market Basket here, we don’t even need the other grocery stores. Market Basket is the best.
Of course North Conway can support four grocery stores. If it can support all these highfalutin hotels it can support four grocery stores. Don’t forget one thing: There are people who live in this valley. Not everyone is a filthy rich tourist from Massachusetts or beyond. So let’s keep that in mind.
Well, I’m definitely hoping that Market Basket will come to the valley, because I’m definitely feeling that their prices are better than any other grocery store that we have here. And when I am in Massachusetts, I often shop there and cart my stuff home and put perishables in the cooler. So, I’m certainly hoping that they do come here.
Yes, I think it’s a good idea for Market Basket to come up here. Market Basket will be a good addition to North Conway.
I would love a Market Basket in the North Conway area. As of now, I drive an hour to Rochester or Tilton to get good grocery deals, which I’m not getting currently from the stores that are in North Conway.
Don’t worry, Market Basket will put them all out of business. That’s where you save.
This is Ron in Ossipee. I am all for having the stores in North Conway. Demoula’s Market Basket is one of the most friendly customer store and the prices are real good. And I think we can use another two stores.
No. There are also grocery stores in Conway and in Glen. We do not need more.
We’re moving to North Conway, but we currently live in a town that has a Market Basket and a Walmart and Market Basket is by far the choice for people that want to grocery shop. They have the best prices, the best selection. We usually pack a cooler because it’s half of what you pay at Shaw’s or any other grocery store for that matter. I’m not crazy about the Walmart grocery store because they only carry a limited amount of brands and you can’t always find what you want. But I would vote strongly to have a Market Basket up here and maybe it will make Shaw’s and Hannaford a little more competitive. Right now they’ve kind of got it locked up and their prices are ridiculously high.
I believe that it’s not an issue of supporting four grocery stores. It’s free-market enterprise, quite frankly. Market Basket, to my knowledge and in my experience, has an excellent reputation, offers very competitive prices and friendly service. They have a wonderful reputation with those of us who have experienced shopping in our store.
My main question in connection with this grocery situation is: Are we the people going to have to build housing for these employees of this additional grocery store? This bothers me greatly.
I’m calling from Conway Village. We travel to Rochester now to shop at Market Basket. We go for a number of reasons, first and foremost, is the quality of the meat and produce sections. You can still buy a pork roast on the bone, get a roast beef cuffed and cut and choose from a wide variety of meat, including a boneless smoked shoulder and an Italian sausage with no gristle. The choice of produce is wider and fresher. The bakery? The same goes. There are items and dry goods there that I cannot get at either Shaw’s or Hannaford. The help is always helpful and pleasant. The bottom line: Even taking into consideration gas money, it’s always less. Market Basket would be a boon to the community and surrounding areas. As for Walmart, I have my doubts.
I wouldn’t worry about four grocery stores. Market Basket will put Shaw’s right out of business.
There are people in this Valley that drive to Tilton Market Basket every two weeks to save, even with the price of gas. I doubt we’ll have a problem.
Yes, we do need a competitive store or independent store that can compete with Shaw’s and Hannaford, which have the Valley tied up and the prices are high when you compare them to other markets and it’s not only North Conway that will support it, it’s all of Western Maine and the surrounding towns in the area and I don’t think that there is a marketable competition in the area, especially with the high price of foods. And I’m looking forward to seeing a Walmart and of course Market Basket come to our area.
We just read about Market Basket coming to North Conway. We’ve been praying for that to happen for the last 40 years. We’re from Massachusetts and we’ve been in the Ossipee area all these years, and we really, really have prayed for Market Basket, which has the best prices of any of the supermarkets. So, we’re in favor of bringing Market Basket into North Conway.
In my opinion it doesn’t matter whether or not we can support four stores; let them fight it out. Market Basket is a known commodity and it will definitely be an asset to the Valley.
My name is Jean Ghallager and I live in Bartlett. Whether we can support four grocery stores, I don’t know. But I do know that Market Basket is a great grocery store. It would be beneficial to us residents money wise. Their prices are reasonable and their produce is excellent and it’s just a great store. As for what we can support, as far as grocery stores, we have many hotels that we support and we are getting anther one, I understand. So, why not go with Market Basket. It may help us out.
We definitely need a Market Basket here in North Conway. Hannaford and Shaw’s are just way crazy price-wise.
I do not think that North Conway can support four grocery stores. All of these stores will be within walking distance of each other and I think that Market Basket and a Walmart expansion are just going to hurt business for Hannaford and Shaw’s. Now if Market Basket was going to go downtown in North Conway Village or Jackson, that would be a really good idea. But North Conway? No. I don’t think it’s a good idea.
I do not think we need another grocery store in North Conway, but it would be nice to have another in Conway. I think we have become saturated with hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations. Another hotel at a blind spot at the intersection is a stupid move and I will not go behind T.J. Maxx’s to a Market Basket. This leaves a person wide open to a mugging. There’s enough crime in the Valley already.
I wouldn’t say that we need a Super Walmart because that only serves to put other people out of jobs. Because look what Walmart did when they came in. They hired a bunch of people and next thing we knew all these people were out of jobs and there were fewer stores. But Market Basket? We could definitely use a Market Basket. They have excellent quality, they treat their employees well. And it’s a fifth supermarket, because you’re forgetting Grant’s up in Glen. They may not be huge, but they’re still a market. We don’t need Walmart, we need some real stores. Walmart carries one of every kind. Talk about limiting our options.
We have long been suffering very high grocery prices here in the valley and I’m all in favor of seeing a Market Basket come in. It’s a family-owned company. They keep their prices low because they don’t go in for a lot of gimmicks or a lot of advertising, and I think it would be a real asset. It’s not a big huge conglomerate like Walmart is. I’m not in favor of that at all. I think it would be a welcome addition. I think it would give the hard-working people of the Valley a little grocery relief finally.
No, we do not need a Market Basket in this area. I like shopping at Shaw’s for the fact of double coupons. And if you’re smart, you’ll use your coupons when the sale item is on during that week. I do not care for Hannaford. I like to shop at Shaw’s. So, we do not need a Market Basket whatsoever. And if one supermarket is going to go if another one is established, I’m sure it’s going to be Shaw’s. So if that is a fact, Market Basket should have to do double coupons in that case.
Could North Conway support four grocery stores? I’d like to find out. If it can happen that’s great. If it can’t happen, maybe the two major stores that have had nearly a monopoly for the last 20 years in this town, maybe they’ll go out of business. One example is the Hannaford in the Portsmouth area sell the same exact product, for example, at $3.99 a pound when the Hannaford in North Conway is $5.99 a pound for the same exact thing. I know it’s only $2 more a pound, but considering the price in Portsmouth is only $3.99 a pound, we’re paying 50 percent more for the same exact product from the same grocery chain. I’m a little bit tired of being taken advantage of by Hannaford and Shaw’s and I hope that the Market Basket does very well up here. I’m not such a fan of Walmart, but I certainly will be visiting the Market Basket store.
I would think it would be very difficult for North Conway to support four grocery stores. With the Super Walmart coming in, chances are one of the other three will probably go out of business and you’re going to have another empty store, very similar to up in Gorham and Berlin, when the Super Walmart came in up there, there was a brand new Shaw’s that’s gone out of business and it’s just a vacant building right now. Very difficult in this economy for an area the size of North Conway to support four grocery stores. So I think it’s probably a very bad idea. Someone will have to go. This is David.
Many New Hampshire and Maine people shop in North Conway. A Market Basket will be a plus — a lot better than another hotel.
I think we can support the extra grocery stores which would make competition which would finally relieve the locals from the burden of such a high grocery bill that they pay around here compared to other areas in New Hampshire.
You know a company like Market Basket doesn’t decide today that they want to build a store and make application tomorrow. They do a study for a long time before they decide whether an area is viable or not. And I’d be willing to bet you that they do what Walmart was doing and Walmart knew what they were doing, and within a few months if we do end up with four supermarkets, the weakest of the four will be gone.
I think this area can support four stores, especially a Super Walmart, due to the fact that the two major stores that we now have charge anywhere from 25 cents to $1 more for the exact same items. Remember, everyone loves a bargain — locals, visitors, tourists included. I am a Valley resident.
My name is Mary Bolduc. I live in Redstone. I’m wondering with all this talk of new grocery stores coming into town, do we think maybe they should have a job fair for natives and locals of the Valley that have been out of work for two years, that would generate some revenue for the Valley and people that work here would be apt to spend their money here.
I’m calling from Ossipee. Ossipee and Wolfeboro area need a Market Basket, not North Conway. You have enough up there.
I think Market Basket is going to be a blessing in this area. We will actually be able to support food. There are a lot of poor people in town and low income. Unfortunately it’s not going to be bringing in big jobs with high pay, but the food bill will definitely go down.
I am an Ossipee resident and I certainly believe that Conway could support four grocery stores — a larger Walmart and definitely a Market Basket.
I think that’s a wonderful idea. I’m looking forward to seeing it. Instead of going to Rochester I could do my shopping all in Conway.
Another supermarket is much needed here, especially Market Basket, as their prices are lower than other supermarkets. The more competition the merrier, as it keeps prices down. Competition is the American way. Prices on most items at Shaw’s and Hannaford have slowly climbed higher and higher over the years. The location is good, as it’s close to the other competitors, so shoppers can compare prices and quality. I’ve been to Walmart stores in Florida, and generally the quality of their product is not up to par with the other supermarket chains. I know it’s too much to ask, but the weekly sales flyers of all four supermarkets should start on the same day, so that an item that can’t be purchased on sale at one particular store can possibly be got on sale at one of the other three markets, all in one day to avoid wasting gas and time and driving two or three times a week to get in on sales. Up with competition, down with monopolies. Diane, Intervale.
My answer is absolutely not. This is ridiculous. The mere fact that Walmart is trying to build a super-store is ridiculous too. We just can’t support that many stores. Already Shaw’s is having trouble and they’ll just leave a big hole there when they go out. This is Peg in North Conway.
It would be nice to get something different. Maybe the prices won’t go down, but I bet you if those four grocery stores are allowed to build, there will be more low-paying jobs, with management from out of town because our students aren’t trained. Instead of making one of those grocery stores, why don’t we make another elementary school and see if they can’t make it green. But I do think four grocery stores within North Conway is wrong. Conway has one and it’s been there forever. It’s sad to see more land being taken and nothing of much value in return for destroying land. I grew up in this town and I remember it used to flood there. Are the selectmen going to get upset when they want FEMA money to help them out, or is it going to be like Transvale acres?
Yes, we could use a Market Basket in this town for the prices and we could support four grocery stores. We really need a Market Basket to help us with our grocery bills. The food is a lot cheaper and we need one in this area. We go out of town to use Market Basket; we need one in our town. We don’t need a Walmart grocery store, but we definitely need a Market Basket. I’m from Madison.
No, I do not believe this town can support four grocery stores. Right now there seems to be fierce competition between Shaw’s and Hannaford, and I can only imagine what will happen when/if Walmart opens a super grocery store. The have pretty inexpensive items, especially when purchased in bulk, and would pose a great amount of competition to those stores and the few smaller grocers in the valley. From what I have seen in the past, in other states, is that when the competition gets too intense, Shaw’s is usually the first to leave. Note what happened to the Shaw’s in Gorham/Berlin area when Wally World went big.
It should not be a question for the residents to decide whether we can support four stores, but for the stores themselves to worry about that. 1. It will create new jobs within the stores themselves. 2. It will create new jobs for the construction industry and all the crafts that go with new construction. 3. More tax revenue for the town. 4. With more completion it could do nothing but help with prices. In closing let’s proceed and approve the applications. Don, Freedom.
Shaw’s and Hannaford are quite pricey given the economy at present, So, yes, I would love to see a Market Basket, and a Super Walmart, as I love stores that cater to the non-wealthy! I work very hard for every one of my dollars and want to get more for my money! I love Market Basket, and have been saying for a long time, I hope we get one! It would give the competition something to compete with! Maybe they would lower their prices a bit! This is Loren from Tamworth
I believe that Conway can support four grocery stores. Personally, I would much prefer a Market Basket over a Walmart superstore. I know many people who travel to Rochester to shop at Market Basket. In today’s economy, every penny counts. I believe that the four stores would garner competition and ultimately lower grocery prices; which is always a good thing especially for families struggling to make ends meet. People who routinely travel to shop at the super Walmart or the Market Basket would probably prefer to travel a shorter distance to Conway, thus boosting our local economy. And those who are die-hard Shaw’s and/or Hannaford shoppers will most likely continue to shop their preferred stores. Rette, from North Conway.
No, I don’t think this area can support four grocery stores. Maybe it would mean more competition and lower food prices, but at what cost? The entire Valley is getting paved over. The only food store we could really use in the village area is a Trader Joe’s. Many of us travel a great distance to shop there because the selection, quality, and price are much better than anything here. Take a cooler with you on your trips to Portland. You’ll find products for nearly half the cost of what our local stores charge.
We need more grocery store competition to keep prices down. Hannaford and Shaw’s prices have increased far above the Market Basket simply because they have a monopoly in North Conway. If Walmart expands their grocery business and Market Basket opens, Conway, Fryeburg and the surrounding area consumers will all save money. All of the stores will survive, but Hannaford and Shaw’s will have to drop their prices.
Five words to Shaw’s: see Gorham and good riddance.
The question is: Can the Valley afford not to let Market Basket build in North Conway? It is about time that the citizens of your area were able to buy reasonably-priced quality products. As a taxpaying “visitor” to the Valley, I do all of my grocery shopping at the Market Baskets, either in Lee or Rochester, on my way up to the Valley as do my neighbors. I would like to support the local economy but will not insult myself by paying almost double for an item in Shaw’s or Hannaford. They are good for emergencies. Our New Hampshire year-round neighbors travel to Rochester or Tilton at least once a month to shop. Wouldn’t you like to see that money spent in the valley? Market Basket is an excellent employer. There is no union, but bonuses far exceed anything the other stores offer. Our children worked at Market Basket to help pay for college. Last of all, is it fair to condemn natives to shop at higher-priced stores in this economy and their limited finances?
My answer is definitely no! I work at the North Conway Shaw’s, so I see first hand what is going on around here. In the off season, we barely get by. Each department has so few hours available. I worked in the bakery up until the holidays, but since then I have been a cashier. There are too many of us working in the bakery, so it was give us so few hours that we would have to quit and find other work, or take what work we could get in another department. Here I am, a professional baker with a degree in culinary arts, and I’m running a cash register. Fortunately I like running a cash register for a change of pace, but if there is no work, then I have to do the best I can. I’ve been averaging 16 to 22 hours a week. Will I get up to 30 hours or more this summer? Who knows? If the economy is struggling to get back, then so are the grocery stores and other businesses. I, like everyone else is struggling to make ends meet. With so few working hours, my check goes to pay my deductions, such as insurance and loans, and gas to get to work. Not much is left over for food and other necessities. Because of my erratic schedule, looking for a second job is difficult. (If I could even find one). As my husband had to retire, he has a fixed income that doesn’t go very far. Also there is the question of what would happen to Shaw’s and /or Hannaford when Super Walmart comes in. Well, I can tell you from first-hand experience what could happen. I know. Just ask anyone from the Berlin/Gorham area. Walmart supersized. They had lower prices. First day they opened, Shaw’s of Gorham had only one cash register running and a very skeleton crew working. People rushed to Walmart to check it out. Wow, great prices. Not much variety though. Slowly the customers started coming back. They knew we had better quality food products, but Walmart still had the cheaper prices. Unfortunately, our faithful customers were not coming back fast enough, so corporate made the decision to close the store. Results? Well, we still have the Super Walmart, but no other large grocery store to give them competition. If we want better food products locals have to go to Berlin to the IGA. They aren’t very big. Or the other options are to travel to Lancaster, Littlelton or North Conway. I’m one of the lucky ones, I was able to get a lateral transfer to North Conway. Not everyone was able to take a transfer. Lancaster, Litttleton and North Conway could only take just so many people. If there were no opening in your field of expertise, then you didn’t get a transfer. I still have a job, with benefits and insurance and vacation time. But for how long? Mary Gendron, Shaw’s employee for 12 years.
The following Tele-Talk responses were posted on The Conway Daily Sun’s Facebook page:
I live in Tamworth and often, a couple of times a month, travel to Rochester or Tilton to go to Market Basket. Market Basket quality is the same as Hannaford, and in some instances better, and the prices are MUCH less. Of course it’s closer to go to Hannaford (or Shaw’s — I only go to Shaw’s for specific sales because they are WAY overpriced) but even driving farther I can save a lot of money.
Market Basket may put both Shaw’s and Hannaford under.
Wish they would get a Market Basket here, never mind Super Walmart, and always go to Hannaford, Shaw’s is twice as high in prices, except when they run a sale.
Well, it is better than nine million hotels. You need grocery stores for all those tourist that are going to be in the hotels.
Wish Market Basket would go farther north to the Berlin/Gorham area we need more choices than IGA or Walmart!
I don’t know about all four, but definitely a Market Basket!
If Market Basket comes in, and Walmart is expanding, I think some really economically savvy people have already asked and answered that question.
Yahoo! Market Basket.
I would support a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (especially if they go into the old LL Bean space).
My first purchase will be a 2-liter bottle of Chelmsford Golden Ginger Ale. I will open it up and guzzle a large amount of it right then and there. Then and only then will I commence shopping.
We need Market Basket and a Super Walmart.
They won’t put them under — Concord has two Shaw’s, two Market Baskets and Hannaford and Super Walmart — they will just have to adjust some pricing to keep customers.
Now we need Target.
We need a grocery store in the North Country. How about a Market Basket in the old Shaw’s store that stands empty in Gorham?
Won’t be four because Market Basket will put the other two, Hannaford and Shaw’s, out of business.
Hopefully, Walmart will reconsider going full bore on the grocery end of business, and bring in things like affordable auto care service like they do in other places.
The idea of Super Walmart makes me sick to my stomach.
What difference does it make? All of these companies have highly paid people to do the market research.
I don’t know why everyone is so energized by the thought of Market Basket. Yes, their prices are great, but what variety do they have to offer? I would rather spend an extra $20 or $30 each week buying healthier foods with less pesticides, hormones, fillers, and other toxins. It’s imperative we monitor what out children are consuming in a daily diet, and I really don’t think Market Basket has the quality of food to maintain that level of healthiness. I think North Conway is doing just fine with Shaw’s and Hannaford. Let’s expand our hospital staff and get more children’s cardiac specialists, vision specialists, and other necessary medical equipment here so families don’t have to travel two hours to go to doctors appointments. That’s what I would be more worried about, not grocery stores.
We often drive to the Market Basket in Rochester. Yes the prices are better, but what impresses me most is the help. There are so many people working in the store. Last week every register was open and two baggers were filling the bags. The aisles were busy will people re-stocking the shelves. Many of these employees appear to be high school aged people. Now, where will a North Conway store find all of those employees that make Market Basket so different to me?
Hannaford will not really be affected as I think smart locals will still shop there, but Shaw’s would definitely go out of business (that is what has happened in Maine). Where we really need a larger grocery store is in Fryeburg, or farther north up the strip toward Jackson. We do not need four giant stores all within two blocks of each other in Conway.
We like supporting The Local Grocer whenever we can. They are also in North Conway. The food tastes great, makes you feel better and they really care about the local community and the planet as a whole. More big grocery stores are one thing, choice is always good, but knowing where our food comes from is important too.