Shaw’s lays off 4 percent of sales staff

Posted March 24, 2010, at 2:35 p.m.

Shaw’s Supermarkets, which has 22 locations in Maine, has laid off 4 percent of its sales associate staff as part of a move to streamline operations, according to a spokeswoman.

“This is something we started months ago, looking at our business practices and seeing how we can compete more effectively,” Judy Chong said Wednesday. “As any business would do, we are constantly evaluating.”

All affected employees were notified Tuesday, she said. Shaw’s workers in Maine were affected, but Chong said she could not provide a store-by-store breakdown.

“It really varies store to store and department to department based on customer traffic and other variables,” she said.

According to the Shaw’s Web site, approximately 30,000 sales associates are employed in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont. Four percent of 30,000 is 1,200 jobs.

Chong said on Friday that the 30,000 number listed on the company’s Web site is outdated, but declined to provide a new number.

Shaw’s has Maine locations in Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Biddeford, Brunswick, Dover-Foxcroft, Ellsworth, Falmouth, Freeport, Lewiston, North Windham, two in Portland, Rockland, Saco, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Waterville, Westbrook and Wiscasset.

Last year, Shaw’s closed its location on Springer Drive in Bangor. The company had plans to build a new store on Stillwater Avenue, but that project has been shelved indefinitely, Chong said.

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