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  1. #1
    philly57 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Wegmans Comes to KOP

    Hey - is anyone else a bit tired of Wegmans opening up in the outer burbs? I'm not advocating they open up a store in the city - they are obviously very anti-city. But why do all their stores in PA have to be sooooo far from the city?

    Downingtown, Malvern, KOP, Collegeville, Warrington....are all close to an hour from the city (KOP is a bit closer but when is 76 clear?). Why are they avoiding the inner rung suburbs? No I'm not talking about Upper Darby, Bensalem, or Cheltenham - but why not the Main Line, Lafayette Hill/Plymouth Meeting, Abington/Jenkintown, or Langhorne/Newtown? All of those areas are fairly middle upper class and could easily support a Wegmans AND are all 15-20 min from the city. I mean Warrington and Collegeville aren't exactly the first burbs I think of when I think of the wealthier areas around Philly.

    It is ironic, that the Wegmans closest to the city are actually in Jersey. Mount Laurel and Cherry Hill are decidely "inner rung" suburbs. So why in PA, are all the Wegmans way out in the sticks?

  2. #2
    boognish is online now Senior Member
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    It's very straight-forward. The highest profit items in the store are in the pre-made foods section. The chickens, the knishes, the mashed potatoes, etc. They did an analysis of the area and came to the conclusion that the richer suburbs would purchase more of these items leading to higher profit margins at a store there as opposed to one closer to the city.

    Essentially, they build where they can maximize their profits. It's not that they're "anti-city", but rather that they have a very successful business model. Even in Rochester, there are very few, if any Wegmans within city limits. I can only think of one that may still be, and it's decidedly the least of their stores.

    As for your "inner" and "outer" ring designations, I think that doesn't have any traction with the Wegmans folks. They simply look at demographics and do market analysis to determine where they should put in a new store. You'll also note that the majority of new Wegmans are in new developments.

  3. #3
    Volanova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philly57 View Post
    Hey - is anyone else a bit tired of Wegmans opening up in the outer burbs? I'm not advocating they open up a store in the city - they are obviously very anti-city. But why do all their stores in PA have to be sooooo far from the city?

    Downingtown, Malvern, KOP, Collegeville, Warrington....are all close to an hour from the city (KOP is a bit closer but when is 76 clear?). Why are they avoiding the inner rung suburbs? No I'm not talking about Upper Darby, Bensalem, or Cheltenham - but why not the Main Line, Lafayette Hill/Plymouth Meeting, Abington/Jenkintown, or Langhorne/Newtown? All of those areas are fairly middle upper class and could easily support a Wegmans AND are all 15-20 min from the city. I mean Warrington and Collegeville aren't exactly the first burbs I think of when I think of the wealthier areas around Philly.

    It is ironic, that the Wegmans closest to the city are actually in Jersey. Mount Laurel and Cherry Hill are decidely "inner rung" suburbs. So why in PA, are all the Wegmans way out in the sticks?
    I'd say it has more to do with property availability and ease of obtaining building licenses than anything. Wegmans are large footprint stores. Even a small Wegmans would take up multiple stories in any place they could build in the city, which would be much more expensive. A plot of property big enough to hold one is much easier to come by in KoP or Malvern than it is in Lower Merion or South Philadelphia, unless they planned on building near the Best Buy and Ikea. Being in KoP, they can get people in the store who are out at the mall, who live in the middle-ring suburbs like Bryn Mawr and Radnor, and those who live further north like in Norristown. Frankly, KoP makes perfect sense for this kind of supermarket.

  4. #4
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    Quote Originally Posted by philly57 View Post
    Hey - is anyone else a bit tired of Wegmans opening up in the outer burbs? I'm not advocating they open up a store in the city - they are obviously very anti-city. But why do all their stores in PA have to be sooooo far from the city?
    Wegmans is a godsend in places where "exotic" ingredients, upscale cooking supplies, and cheap, high-quality produce are otherwise hard to find. In the town in upstate NY where I went to undergrad, it functioned as our Whole Foods, our Trader Joe's, our di Bruno Bros., and our Ninth Street all at once.

    As everyone and their brother knows or has heard, a Wegmans is a really pleasant place to be in (if ShopRite had an in-house restarant, would you go?); and it's a remarkably well-run company. These qualities are probably not enough to fend off the stiff competition they would get in the city, and at the same time overcome the much higher overhead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Volanova View Post
    I'd say it has more to do with property availability and ease of obtaining building licenses than anything. Wegmans are large footprint stores. Even a small Wegmans would take up multiple stories in any place they could build in the city, which would be much more expensive.
    I don't know how current this is, but as of a few years ago, the city of Rochester had lots of smallish Wegmans in it; some couldn't have been any bigger than 4,000 square feet. They were probably a vestige of a business model that Wegmans has since gotten rid of, but an urban Wegmans wouldn't be unheard-of.

  5. #5
    philly57 is offline Senior Member
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    Just so you all know, in my post, I never said Wegmans should put a store in the city. A lot of people would love that, but frankly, CC doesn't need one and there's no space for one either; and other neighborhoods simply don't have the demographics to support a Wegmans, I get that it.

    My point of contention is that all of their stores are in the outer outer burbs. Wegmans are great but they are really far out there. The communities I mentioned in the OP could definitely support a Wegmans.

  6. #6
    OffenseTaken is offline Junior Dilettante
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    Agreed. Wegmans seems to like being the big fish in a small pond, and I hope they stay that way.

  7. #7
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    Is it sad that I looked at the mileage from were I live in Old City to KOP vs Cherry Hill Wegman's?! I like shopping at Wegman's every 2-3 weeks for things I dont' get at RTM. I vote for a Wegman's in the city even though I know it would never happen a girl can dream.

  8. #8
    Volanova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OffenseTaken View Post
    As everyone and their brother knows or has heard, a Wegmans is a really pleasant place to be in (if ShopRite had an in-house restarant, would you go?); and it's a remarkably well-run company. These qualities are probably not enough to fend off the stiff competition they would get in the city, and at the same time overcome the much higher overhead.
    Spot on with the note about them being a pleasant place to be in. I live near a nice-ish Genuardis, but it's gone down hill in recent years it seems, and still has a standard cookie cutter supermarket feel about it. Every Wegmans I've ever been in doesn't have that. Places like Wegmans, Whole Foods, and, to an extent, Trader Joes are changing the way grocery stores are being run. The competition is now pushing things not necessarily towards cheaper prices, but better products in a more welcoming environment. If the Wayne Acme hadn't closed not long ago, this would be it's death knell. And this is not going to be good for Genuardis in Wayne, either. I'd hazard to guess that already loses a lot of business to the Whole Foods in Devon, and I can't imagine the new Wegmans won't drive it down quite a bit as well.

  9. #9
    dontforget is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by philly57 View Post
    but why not the Main Line, Lafayette Hill/Plymouth Meeting, Abington/Jenkintown, or Langhorne/Newtown? All of those areas are fairly middle upper class and could easily support a Wegmans AND are all 15-20 min from the city.
    Langhorne/Newtown is more than 15-20 mins from the city. It's more like 40 mins from the city (Center City), and it is closer to Princeton than Philly. Wegmans could go to the Oxford Valley Mall the same way that Wegmans is replacing the Boscov's store at Montgomeryville Mall in North Wales/Lansdale. However, the Oxford Valley Mall seems a bit tucked from the highway or it doesn't face it so well, so I don't know if the site is that great. Maybe Wegmans could make it work, and people will find it and drive there no matter if the store doesn't face the highway so well. McCaffrey's is the upscale grocery store of that area and would be hurt with a Wegmans opening there.

    Plymouth Meeting has Whole Foods. I don't think that area has a lot of free space for more shopping centers. Even the Norristown Wal-Mart is somewhat small and not the best Wal-Marts out there. I bet Wal-Mart would like a bigger store, but can't find the space. The only solution would have been to demolish the Plymouth Meeting Mall for big boxes. Instead PREIT let stores come around it, which is fine and there are some nice restaurants and Whole Foods that came about from it, but the actual original enclosed part of the mall seems to have a high vacancy issue. The Macy's building at Plymouth Meeting seems very dated as well, but it was an inherited Strawbridge's store.

    The Conshohocken Genuardi's was sold to Weis Markets. I'm surprised Wegmans didn't want to bid for any of the Genuardi's stores and gone in there with a smaller than typical store. Atleast it would put Wegmans in communities that couldn't support a 150,000sq.ft jumbo Wegmans. That Conshohocken plaza anyways gets very packed and imo doesn't have enough parking. There is a REI, Marshall's and a number of other stores and restaurants in that plaza that fill it up already, so even if Weis is unpopular, the plaza will still be busy.
    Last edited by dontforget; 05-25-2012 at 10:15 PM.

  10. #10
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    mixiboi is offline Philly Remixed
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    For them not being in the city, it didn't stop them from sending FIVE things in the mail before the Wegman's open in KOP to us City Folk.

    I blame you guys....Since this "store" been brought up so many times like its the best thing ever(Its just a supermarket people).
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  11. #11
    Moonraker is offline Rocket Scientist
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    Default Business models &. Demographics

    CONSUMERS REPORTS states that Wegams is #1. To the good, Aldi & Bottom Dollar are building into urban areas which meet there business models.

    Wegmans Food Markets - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Aldi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Bottom Dollar Food - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  12. #12
    Gremps14 is offline Senior Member
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    I was there yesterday, buying beer. As I was getting into my car, I noticed a familiar looking guy putting bags into his car, next to me. Then I relaized it was Commisioner Ramsey. We greeted each other and off I went.....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volanova View Post
    I'd say it has more to do with property availability and ease of obtaining building licenses than anything. Wegmans are large footprint stores. Even a small Wegmans would take up multiple stories in any place they could build in the city, which would be much more expensive. A plot of property big enough to hold one is much easier to come by in KoP or Malvern than it is in Lower Merion or South Philadelphia, unless they planned on building near the Best Buy and Ikea. Being in KoP, they can get people in the store who are out at the mall, who live in the middle-ring suburbs like Bryn Mawr and Radnor, and those who live further north like in Norristown. Frankly, KoP makes perfect sense for this kind of supermarket.
    Exactly. Rochester native here. We grew up with small Wegmans. There is still a city Wegmans but the profit margins are really small for them and not because people can't afford it because Wegmans is the go-to store in town without much competition. They have a very profitable model that serves them well.

    I was so happy to see that the KOP Wegmans opened via a banner in the KOP Mall last week I took a photo of the banner announcing it. Ah, a sweet slice of home. For the time being, I still go to the Wegmans Cherry Hill. Earth's Best baby food is $.30/cheaper a jar than Whole Foods and greek yogurt is $.89/container. Those items alone are worth going...but I'll miss the Wegmans wine store right next door to the Cherry Hill one (assuming this Wegmans isn't part of the pilot wine sales stores in PA).
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  14. #14
    NJbound is offline Guest
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    The Mt Laurel Wegmans is is 5 minutes from us. Busy as heck most of the time too.

  15. #15
    FKD19124 is offline Banned
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    Can someone tell me what the hype is about Wegmens? Is it a status thing to buy over priced groceries at a high end supermarket?
    My two sister in laws are now wegmens snobs and like other people turn their noses up at us like we are white trash because we still shop at bottom dollar and Gaint

  16. #16
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    For the items I'm buying at Wegman's I don't find the prices high at all.

  17. #17
    FKD19124 is offline Banned
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    what are you buying exactly? How are their prices compared to Giant?
    I went into wegmens in collegville and I thought for average groceries say a box a cereal, they were high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alley View Post
    For the items I'm buying at Wegman's I don't find the prices high at all.

  18. #18
    Alley's Avatar
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    I'll buy a lot of the Wegman's brand of products. Example cheerios I think were around $3.29 for a 15 oz box bought Wegman's brand for $1.99. The milk at least at the Cherry Hill Wegman's seems ridiculously inexpensive compared to in the city I think I paid $2.30 for a gallon of skim this past weekend. With that said it really depends on what you are buying. I rarely buy any produce, meat or cheese at Wegman's because I buy all that at RTM.

  19. #19
    FKD19124 is offline Banned
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    I try to buy regulary groceries at bottom dollar and stuff like lunch meat at Giant. bottom dollars meats(chicken, chops, etc ) are not that bad. I usually like to go to a butcher or BJ's though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alley View Post
    I'll buy a lot of the Wegman's brand of products. Example cheerios I think were around $3.29 for a 15 oz box bought Wegman's brand for $1.99. The milk at least at the Cherry Hill Wegman's seems ridiculously inexpensive compared to in the city I think I paid $2.30 for a gallon of skim this past weekend. With that said it really depends on what you are buying. I rarely buy any produce, meat or cheese at Wegman's because I buy all that at RTM.

  20. #20
    salf is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FKD19124 View Post
    what are you buying exactly? How are their prices compared to Giant?
    I went into wegmens in collegville and I thought for average groceries say a box a cereal, they were high.
    I love Wegmans.

    It's waaaaaaaaaay better than Wholefoods and Trader's Joe, and it's not expensive at all.

    If you just buy Organic stuff it's expensive (however not as much as wholefoods) same if you only buy imported gourmet stuff (huge selection, unlike WHolefoods) but for regular groceries, they're around the same price as your shoprites, giants, genuardis, etc.

    When I lived in North Wales, I used to buy at Giant because it was right around the corner, with an occasional trip to the Wegman's at Warrington, since I moved to Lansdale I mainly buy at ShopRIte (the one in Hatfield is pretty good) and regularly drive to the Wegman's at Collegeville. Love being able to mix and match beer, buy non-frozen duck breats and imported cheeses, among other things.

    If rumors are true they will probably be opening a new location next year at the Montgomery Mall. Construction is going on at was used to be Boscov's.
    Last edited by salf; 06-01-2012 at 09:25 AM.

 

 

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