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Inside Market Basket’s Fierce-but-jolly Holiday Decor Competition

This time of year, you can visit Barbie’s Dreamhouse or the Polar Express while picking up the week’s groceries. It’s all part of an intense competition playing out at Market Baskets across Greater Boston that’s delighting shoppers at the beloved supermarkets for another year.

Customer service counters at the Massachusetts-based supermarket chain are decked to the nines for the holidays as each store vies for the most impressive display, giving customers a reason to head to the booths for more than questions about prices or wiring money.

“This is one of the first things you see when you come through the door of our stores,” said Christine McCarthy with Market Basket. “It brings a lot of joy to people this time of year.”

It’s an annual holiday contest, with each location transforming their customer service counter into a scene straight out of a snow globe or even a movie, all for a chance at a prize. The counter at the Waltham location looks like a quant small town during the holidays, complete with a brick theme, a hot chocolate stand and garland.

The booth in Bourne’s store has been decked out like a Barbie Christmas Dreamhouse. Meanwhile, the counter at the Salem, New Hampshire, location has been transformed into Candy Cane Lane. In Warwick, Rhode Island, the Polar Express has arrived at Market Basket.

“Every store is unique, every store is different,” McCarthy said. “You’re not going to find the same display anywhere else, and, again, stores keep upping the ante. The sky is the limit with what you’re capable of building.”

While the tradition goes way back, the competition was made official in 2017, and was opened to public voting in 2019. The 2022 champion was the Plymouth, Massachusetts, store, with its extravagant gingerbread house display. This year, People of Market Basket Facebook page has been tracking and discussing submissions from around Greater Boston’s Market Baskets.

“Now that we have Facebook and Instagram and all that, even the stores you can’t visit, customers can enjoy the courtesy booths of the stores they’ve never visited,” said Yuki Kihara with Market Basket.

The winning store can look forward to a surprise and major bragging rights.

“I think it’s super festive and fun,” Market Basket customer Tyler Murphy said. “Really gets me in the spirit. If Waltham doesn’t win, then I don’t know!”

Source: 10 Boston