Shaw's Supermarkets Stores Shaw’s is a subsidiary of Minnesota-based SUPERVALU. The company is the second largest groceries group in the northeastern US; the largest being Stop & Shop. Shaw’s is the largest supermarket chain whose stores are located entirely in New England. Until the sale of its Connecticut locations in February 2010, Shaw’s was the only supermarket chain that had stores in all six New England states; it remains the only supermarket chain to operate in five of the six.

In 1862, George C. Shaw opened a small teashop in Portland, Maine. Meanwhile, Maynard A. Davis established a group of small downtown grocery stores in Brockton and New Bedford, Massachusetts, called Brockton Public Market, or BPM. In 1919, Davis purchased the George C. Shaw Company and made it a subsidiary of BPM.

As George C. Shaw and BPM continued to grow, it was decided that a central grocery warehouse would be needed for the future growth of the two companies. In 1961, a warehouse in Brockton was purchased.

By 1965, George C. Shaw had begun to expand into northern Massachusetts and into New Hampshire. This expansion, combined with BPM’s growth in volume in southern Massachusetts, moved the companies to build a distribution center in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts in 1972. In the 1980s, a warehouse was built in Wells, Maine, and in January 1991, Shaw’s opened a distribution facility for perishable food items in Methuen, Massachusetts.

In 1978, BPM stores in Massachusetts changed their name to Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. to maximize advertising. It was the first step in the contemplated merger of the two companies.

In November 1983, J Sainsbury plc, then the UK’s largest supermarket group, purchased 21% of Shaw’s outstanding stock, and in June 1987, Sainsbury’s acquired controlling interest.

J Sainsbury plc acquired stores from three other New England food retailers: Iandoli’s (1987), Cerretani’s (1993), and the Star Market Company (1999).

In 1995, Shaw’s entered Connecticut, opening five stores. The next year, Sainsbury purchased 12 former Edwards’s supermarkets and two future sites from Royal Ahold.

The largest supermarket chain to join the Shaw’s family is the Star Market Company. This acquisition strengthened Shaw’s position as the second-largest supermarket company in New England. Like Shaw’s, the Star Market Company had humble beginnings and a long line of “firsts” in the supermarket industry. Star was the first New England supermarket company to have air-conditioned stores, the touch method of ringing registers, in-store check verification, refrigerated cooked foods, self-service wrapped meats, and packaged produce.

In November 1999, J Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets closed the Star Market Distribution Center in Norwood, Massachusetts, laying off over 300. In 2001, J.Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets closed the Shaw’s Distribution Center in East Bridgewater, laying off 400. J.Sainsbury/Shaw’s Supermarkets indicated that the warehouse was “not centrally located in its service area and the necessary physical expansion is impossible”. C&S Wholesale Grocers now handles the majority of the work that was performed by the two union-based distribution centers. C&S is the largest non-union grocery distribution company in the US. At the time of these closings, C&S’s distribution center/headquarters were in Brattleboro, Vermont.

In 2004, J Sainsbury sold Shaw’s to Albertsons for US$2.48 billion. On June 2, 2006, a partnership of SUPERVALU, CVS Corporation, and several investment firms including Cerberus Capital acquired Albertsons with the intent to divvy up the parts. SUPERVALU received what was generally thought of as the best-performing assets, which included Shaw’s and Star Market, along with other well-regarded regional chains such as Acme Markets (Philadelphia); Jewel, and Jewel-Osco (Chicago). Unfortunately, the Shaw’s chain has been beset by store closings nearly every year since its acquisition by Supervalu. At its peak, Shaw’s operated more than 200 stores across New England, but closings have slowly reduced that number since 2006. At least one store has closed in every New England state except Vermont.

The first round of closings occurred in late August of 2006, when Shaw’s announced it would be closing six under-performing stores that October. One year later, in September 2007, Shaw’s closed 3 more of its stores because of poor sales. The closings left Shaw’s with 204 stores at the time, with 12 remaining in Rhode Island. A total of 224 workers were laid off or transferred.

On July 25, 2009, Shaw’s closed an additional 4 stores, but the largest round of closings occurred in 2010 when Shaw’s announced that February that it would sell or close all 18 of its remaining Connecticut stores. Eleven of those were sold to New Jersey-based Wakefern, operator of ShopRite and PriceRite supermarkets; and five to Stop & Shop. The other two never found a buyer, though one of those locations will be subdivided for a Supervalu-owned Save-A-Lot. In addition to the store closures, in late March 2010, Shaw’s eliminated about 4% of its full-time workforce at stores still in operation, which amounted to nearly 650 jobs spread out over the about 120 non-union stores.

The most recent round of closings occurred in early 2011. On January 5, 2011, Shaw’s announced that three Massachusetts stores and two Rhode Island stores that were unprofitable would close by February 17. After the closures, Shaw’s will be left with 169 stores.

According to their website, as of December 2009, Shaw’s operated 194 stores across New England: 12 in Rhode Island, 18 in Connecticut, 19 in Vermont, 22 in Maine, 34 in New Hampshire, and 89 in Massachusetts (including 12 operating as Star Market). Including the 2011 closings, that number has since been reduced to only 10 stores in Rhode Island and 84 in Massachusetts, and none in Connecticut. This leaves 169 stores in the chain as of February 2011. Despite the closings, Supervalu has remodeled and updated many Shaw’s stores, and in late 2010, Supervalu introduced a newly-redesigned website for Shaw’s.

Headquarters: West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
No. of Stores: 169 (2010)
No. of Employees: about 30,000
Revenue: unknown
Geography: Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Special Services: Bakery, dairy, deli, floral, frozen foods, grocery, liquor, meat, pharmacy, produce, seafood, snacks, sushi

Shaw’s, Star Markets, SUPERVALU

Shaw’s carries most national brands, their own Shaw Brand, as well as others such as Richelieu Foods, Wild Harvest, Stockman & Dakota, Baby Basics, and Culinary Circle.

Important links

Corporate Homepage
Online shopping- not available
Circular and specials
Store Locations
Contact information


  1. Monica September 8, 2018 at 8:09 am - Reply

    I’m very upset to see certain deli employees at your Middlebury Vermont store still working there after the numerous complaints that have been reported. Myself along with at least 8 others that I know have experienced first hand the rude, ignorant, disrespectful attitudes of 2 particular employees you have in the deli. Mary Alice and Amy I’m unsure of their last names as their name tags don’t state. Amy and Mary were both being rude to a disabled gentlemen and then laughed about it after. I see all of them one day eating chicken. This is unprofessional!!! The other employee there in the deli is Shelly and she’s very loud and always talking to strangers about her personal life and you can see they don’t want to hear it. Shelly takes selfies and ignores customers. My niece bought chicken there and it was raw. My best friends daughter found maggots in her chicken. Complaints about the deli in Middlebury have been rolling in to corporate for quite some time now and what I can’t figure out is why these people are still employed. Will you do something already?????

  2. Billy Edwards January 13, 2018 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Your removal of the self checkout aisles at the Orleans,MA store is a failed experiment! Perpetually understaffed and cluttered with junk foods, the new 10 items or less registers are constantly backed up!
    The customer service desk at this store also has a daily reputation of being unattended, and an associate has to be summoned from another department for assistance!

  3. Jeff February 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I went to the shaws in north Conway n.h the manager says the self check out was being removed tonight so if you want to steal you need to go to Walmart

    At least Walmart monitors the self check out and care lots more than shaws

    Big Guy In Blue Shirt

  4. Marilyn October 22, 2016 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Do you still carry Sunbeam bread ? Haven’t been able to locate for a while

  5. marilyn michalak July 1, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    the store that I shop in and usually on a regular basis is notorious for having “old dairy products”. I was looking for a pint of plain yogurt today–today is 7-1-16, the first container I picked up had an EXPIRATION DATE OF 6-23-16. I handed it to the gentleman loading the eggs and then watched him to see if he just placed it back on the counter………he looked for other old yogurts–and then I left to continue my shopping. I’ve reported this store before to corporate office and I still continue to find “old” dairy. Please try to correct this situation.

  6. Shirley April 14, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I would like to know why you do not have your reduced produce any more, it was a definite drawing card to your store for us!! We miss it!! We are on a fixed income & it really helped us keep produce in our menu!!

  7. richard coley January 13, 2015 at 10:25 am - Reply

    i think you need to do something with your web page so no one else steals your info

  8. Brian January 10, 2015 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    For 3 generations in my family we have completed our shopping at Shaws Grocery. Shaws’ products are of the highest quality and are 2nd to none. We never purchased out-of-date products. Or encountered bait and switch sales tactics…. that other markets frequently do. The deli, bakery and specialty foods are just the best. We purchased many birthday cakes from Shaws. The employees are kind, curious and helpful. A lot of Shaw’s employee’s are high school aged. It’s nice to see that this company hires so many young kids from our local community. NOW something at Shaws bothers me and after questioning management a few times I was informed “its company policy”! I have noticed on several occasions small young high school girls collecting and pushing empty carriages as late as 10:00pm from the dark parking lot, back inside the store. Pushing I think as many as 10 at a time! I believe this practice is dangerous it puts these young female employees in hazardous situations. I was told by store management that Shaws doesn’t discriminate with staff and that carriage retrieval is everybody’s responsibility. Well yes I understand this but What About Common Sense? Let the strong young men do the heavy labor and keep the young girls out of vulnerable situations. P.S. how about a seasonal fruit cake 

  9. Heather Ragsdale December 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    I visited 2 Shaw’s stores today and was so disheartened to find that the prices from one to another were so different; Milk a dollar more in one as well as cheese,Etc etc when I asked why the difference in price for 2 towns in the same small (VT) state, I was told it was what the market could bare.Well that does not work as the locales are the one who have to shop at the stores and we as a whole do not make dollars more town to town I well now be going to Hanniferds where the whole cost is less than ether of the 2 stores I was at today. Shame on you price gouging our locals.

  10. Lori Alterio August 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I am owner of Alterio Drain Cleaning & More. We are interested in servicing your Connecticut stores plumbing and drain cleaning needs. We have over 23 years experience, we offer 24/7 emergency service, our prices are highly competitive and all of our work is guaranteed. Whom should we contact to become a vendor for your Connecticut stores? Thank you for your time.
    Lori Alterio

  11. June Fleischmann August 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Does Shaw’s sell any bread or bakery products without soy? A family member is allergic to soy, and I am aware of several other people with this allergy. I like the Shaw’s supermarkets, but do not want to make a separate stop somewhere else, just to pick up bread and bakers. I am having difficult, also, finding cake and dessert mixes w/o soy. I work 2 jobs and do not want to have to ready the ingredients on every label…would you help?

  12. Joanne Ferguson February 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I am wondering how i can get the weekly circular for my 81 year old cousin in Brighton, ma 02135? I take him shopping at your store once a week and it would be wonderful if he could receive the circular before we get to the store. In my area i receive the circular by mail on Thursday. He does not get the daily paper since he can’t read it and he does not do internet. Any help you can give me will be appreciated. i check at the store and got no where.

  13. Mike Carello January 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    In line now 15min at deli counter. No more number tickets. Two emPloyes working dept god bless them (hope my retirement plan holds out) but unfortunately in my opinion they shouldn’t be working such a demanding position. Just saying. I was in the BUISNESS Back when I was younger . About 15people in line now. Who’s running this show???? Don’t want to be a stick in the mud. You tell me how long one should wait in line to be served????? I feel I should stay in line. If not for just moral support. hope things are better next time Shaws. East providence RI. Ps. 25min to be waited on. 3rd person came on 3:15pm.

  14. Raymond October 26, 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    I recently returned from a trip to the New England states. While I was there, I bought some Daystar Cheesecake from a Shaw store. It was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had! I was wondering if you are availabe to sell and ship this cheesecake to retail customers? And if you are available, what would be the costs for a 10″ regular cheesecake, shipped to zip code, 80122?

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