Shaw’s Reopens Irene-ravaged Store

Shaw’s Supermarkets has reopened a store in Ludlow, Vt., that suffered heavy damage from flooding following Tropical Storm Irene at the end of August. Beyond merely repairing the damage, the West Bridgewater, Mass.-based Supervalu division invested further resources to remodel the store, including expanding it to 19,000 square feet, upgrading equipment and augmenting products in several key categories. The renovated store offers a variety of fresh produce, top-quality seafood and a large selection of local items.

Referring to the remodel as “essentially a brand-new Shaw’s for our loyal customers and the Ludlow community,” Shaw’s President Mike Stigers noted, “Everything customers see in the new store -- from the floors to the ceiling -- is brand-new, and Shaw’s … completed the renovations and improvements in order to reopen the store in just over four months.”

Although storm damage forced the original store to close, the community wasn’t without a supermarket for long. As the only grocery store within 20 miles, Shaw’s recognized a need to serve local residents, so it opened a temporary store in a tent in the parking lot just a week after the main store closed. The tent store operated until Jan. 16.

“In one week’s time, we erected a 3,200-square-foot tent designed to provide the basic needs of the community,” recounted Ludlow Store Director Darren Williams. “Operating as a country store --no scanners, no scales -- we were able to offer approximately 700 key product options to the residents of Ludlow. It was truly a triumph over adversity.”

“As I’ve traveled around Vermont since Tropical Storm Irene, I have been overwhelmed by the resilience, courage and good will shown by Vermonters,” said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. “The dedication has been no less evident among the residents of Ludlow and associates at Shaw’s. Forced to close the store after it was flooded by Irene, you worked tirelessly to ensure residents had access to a temporary store under a tent in your parking lot. Your hard work made a tremendous difference for your community in their time of need.”

Realizing that Irene had affected the entire state of Vermont, Shaw’s sent more than $70,000 in food and grants to the Barre-based Vermont Food Bank. Additionally, the Ludlow store ran a scan campaign with the American Red Cross to raise money to support local relief efforts. Shaw’s customers could make a $1 or $5 donation, with Shaw’s agreeing to match the donation – resulting in a grand total of almost $30,000.

As well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Shaw’s held a special preview open house on the evening of Jan. 26, which was attended by company and state officials. To mark the occasion, Shaw’s donated $2,000 to Black River Good Neighbor Services in Ludlow.

Shaw’s operates 169 stores under the Shaw’s, Osco and Star Market banners, employing about 21,000 associates.

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