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The Boston Globe reports that Demoulas Super Markets, where considerable internal strife about management and financials have put the company squarely into the media spotlight, now is being sued by a Massachusetts shopping center owner that claims the company "violated a lease when it failed to open a Market Basket on its property."

The shopping center says that the chain was supposed to open a store in the Attleboro location by last April; the chain reportedly says that while it does plan to open a store there, the lease does not compel it to do so by a specific date.

According to the story, "The Attleboro location is one of two Market Basket locations that are fully built but unoccupied. Mayors in both Attleboro and Revere have expressed their frustrations to the company over the months-long delays. Revere Mayor Dan Rizzo told the company in a letter that the city is reviewing legal options, though he insists he’d rather forego legal action in favor of an opened store."
KC's View:
Seems to me that this ought to be a fairly simple argument to resolve. Either the lease has a specific date or it does not. Then again, I'm not a lawyer … so this thing probably will end up in the US Supreme Court.

That said, one has to remember all the tumult that has affected Demoulas lately, with two sides of the same family arguing over expenses and investments and whether money is best spent on growing the company and rewarding the workforce or on lining the pockets of some members of management. (Just the way I've phrased this makes it pretty obvious which side I'm on … though I'll concede that things rarely are quite as simple as they appear, and that I could be completely wrong.)

What appears increasingly clear is that, whatever your position in this scenario, the Demoulas chain seems to have taken its eye off the ball … which can result in stories and lawsuits like this one. That's not good for business.