“Market Basket Strong”

The warehouse had shut down supplies, and stores had stuck their necks out in solidarity. But the new CEOs, Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch, figured that if they could garner enough customer demand, they could outlast the protesters and eventually replace associates who remained loyal to Arthur T. and his management team. That would get the company running and ready for a sale again.

What they had not counted on was the loyalty of Market Basket customers. “As soon as we asked people to stop coming in, it pretty much stopped,” Foster said.

Many companies have loyal customers. What made this situation unique was the proportion ...

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