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Shaw’s lays off 700, impact on Peterborough store unclear

PETERBOROUGH —Shaw’s Supermarkets announced plans Friday to lay off approximately 700 workers at stores throughout New England.

The immediate impact on the company’s Peterborough store was unclear. On Friday, store manager Phil Foskitt referred questions to corporate headquarters in West Bridgewater, Mass.

Company spokesperson Steve Sylven said cuts would be made at all of the 169 Shaw’s and Star Market stores in five states, but said he could not give details about any individual store.

“There will be impact there,” Sylven said Friday afternoon about the Peterborough store. “We’re notifying employees and expect that to be done by the end of the day tomorrow.”

He said the number of employees laid off will vary from store to store. Overall, the staff reduction will be less than 4 percent, Sylven said.

On Monday, local Shaws’ managers again referred a call seeking information about the layoffs to corporate headquarters. Sylven did not immediately return a call on Monday.

In a statement issued Friday, Shaw’s President Mike Stigers said, “A decision of this nature is never easy, but after careful evaluation, it is unfortunately the necessary step for us to take to help improve our business, reduce expenses and reinvest in more customer-facing initiatives. As we continue to look at the best ways to achieve success, we recognized an opportunity to align our workforce to more effectively serve the marketplace by scheduling team members more appropriately to serve customers at the times they shop. These changes will help us to compete more effectively in a rapidly changing marketplace.”

Approximately 90 workers impacted by the layoffs had been informed by Friday, according to the press release.

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