“We’re Not Normal”

Go to one of the many business schools in the Boston area—Babson, Bentley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, or others—and you will find many of the most knowledgeable professors in the country. These scholars will tell you to stay away from low-margin businesses like supermarkets. They will tell you that a supermarket cannot succeed without a first-class website. They might recommend installing automated self-checkout lanes in order to cut costs. And they would note the trend toward supercenter style stores, such as Wegmans, that have pharmacies, restaurants, and other services.

This would be good advice for most grocery merchants. But Arthur T. and his core team are not bound by such traditional wisdom. In ...

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