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Market Basket employees celebrate new deal

NEW ENGLAND (WGME) -- The Market Basket family feud that has affected thousands of lives is finally over. The grocery store chain with stores all over New England, including one in Biddeford, is back in business, Thursday, under new ownership.

The Market Basket Board of Directors approved the sale Wednesday night to Arthur T. Demoulas. T. Demoulas agreed to a $1.5 billion deal. The deal would put Demoulas back in charge of all 71 stores in the Market Basket chain, including the one in Biddeford. As part of the deal, Arthur T. Demoulas bought shares of the company owned by the rival family faction, led by cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.

Arthur T. thanked employees for standing by him. "As I stand here, there is very little that I could ever add to your brilliant words, your extraordinary display of loyalty and the power of your enduring human spirit over the past six weeks." T. Demoulas said.

Market Basket operates 71 stores with 25,000 thousand employees.

News of the deal was something many customers woke up to Thursday morning, along with employees, many of them getting the call to head back to work.

It is an exciting day in Biddeford after weeks of protests, and questions of what will happen to the grocery chain, Thursday was the first day they have an answer, former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas regained control of the family company.

From the workers, to the customers, even the truck drivers, thousands are thrilled that Artie T. is back.

After weeks of protests the grocery chain's Board of Directors and former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, struck a deal to regain control of all 71 Market Basket stores.

Employee Barbara Hair stopped by the Biddeford store first thing in the morning to celebrate the victory. "I am just thrilled. I'm just so happy. I was in there screaming. They told me to slow down. I was in there hugging everybody." Hair said.

A victory for customers like Scott Pierston too, who stopped by even before the store opened. "I think it's the prices and when I shop here I save about 40 to 60 dollars per week when I shop here" Pierston said.

Store manager Micum McIntire says he can't believe it's true. "It's like a dream we woke up from and now it's gonna be real deal here." McIntire said

McIntire says deliveries to the store will resume Thursday. "It won't take long. It will be a process but it won't take long and we'll be up and running just like when we opened a year ago." MacIntire said.

Customers CBS 13 spoke with reiterate that, saying give it a few days and the parking lot will be full and busy soon.

After weeks of barely any work in Biddeford, local vendors for companies who supply a variety of products to Market Basket say they've taken a huge hit.

Those vendors include Pepperidge Farm, who supplies Market Basket with a variety of goods like bread, rolls, cookies, and there are many other vendors as well.

They say they've seen a dramatic drop in their business while the fate of Market Basket was being decided and many shelves stayed empty. They say that drop had a big impact on them. ”For us, 65% of my sales was just one store. So if you're making a thousand dollars a week, take 65% of that paycheck away. So it’s hard. It’s a rough road. You go from eating very well to peanut butter and jelly and cereal.” Bobby Campbell, Pepperidge Farm Vendor, said.

Campbell says he was happy to stand by Market Basket until the situation was resolved but he certainly has a huge sense of relief. He also says this comes at a great time, with lots of shoppers heading to stores to stock up for the holiday weekend.