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Wegman's scoping out a site in Westwood, MA

Karl S Apr 15, 2008 05:53 AM

According to a family member of mine, WHAM in Rochester NY reported this morning that Wegman's is scoping out property in Westwood MA for its first New England store.

Oh, that would be mighty fine indeed.

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  1. hiddenboston RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 06:03 AM

    Uh, did you say Wegman's? I can't tell you how happy this would make me. Some of my fondest memories growing up included taking a trip to the Wegman's in Penfield, NY with my family while staying with cousins out there. Back in the late 1970s, that market looked much like the Roche Bros. and Whole Foods of today, so they were way, way ahead of their time.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston
      Karl S RE: hiddenboston Apr 15, 2008 06:09 AM

      Yes, indeed. All Hail The Pittsford Mother Ship!

      1. re: hiddenboston
        Duster17 RE: hiddenboston Apr 15, 2008 06:13 AM

        Someone else here with Rochester (no one around here pronounces it right) roots. There is nothing like it in the area. I really hope this is true!

        1. re: Duster17
          winedude RE: Duster17 Apr 15, 2008 06:30 AM

          There was an article about this in the Globe South section a couple of weeks ago saying the same thing. I believe Wegman's was looking for a liquor license as part of the deal.

          1. re: Duster17
            Ralphie_in_Boston RE: Duster17 Apr 15, 2008 07:03 AM

            Bring on the White Hots!

            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
              Karl S RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 15, 2008 08:42 AM

              Shaw's briefly carries Zweigle's red and white hots, re-labelled so as not to confuse the locals here.

              Then again, Wegman's has a very odd practice of relabelling blood oranges as "raspberry oranges" in the Rochester area...so the weirdness works both ways.

              Now if they could arrange for freshly made kimmelweck here....

              1. re: Karl S
                davefoxdad RE: Karl S Sep 4, 2011 04:48 AM

                We bring the white hots back from Rochester with us in a cooler twice a year. The kids just love them. My big fear is that Wegmans' wont offer them here (do New Englanders really want them I wonder? They seem to be happy with their existing choices --- Italian Sausage - spicy or mild). Love the "split open" Zweigle's.

        2. p
          purple bot RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 08:54 AM

          Yes, it's true, in the new Westwood Station development.

          1. s
            sarahbeth RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 02:52 PM

            Oh Lord, this is the moment that I have been waiting for since moving New England! Please, please, please let this be true!

            1 Reply
            1. re: sarahbeth
              hiddenboston RE: sarahbeth Apr 15, 2008 03:10 PM

              It better be! I've already told about 250 people!

              I was pretty young when I frequented the Wegman's in Penfield, NY, but I recall it being a very customer-friendly place. They would open the doors early so my great uncle and other retirees could take walks there on rainy days.

            2. n
              Northstar22 RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 03:25 PM

              Pardon my ignorance, but could someone describe wegmans? Sounds great just not familiar.

              31 Replies
              1. re: Northstar22
                Karl S RE: Northstar22 Apr 15, 2008 03:48 PM

                Wegman's is considered by many to be the US's best supermarket chain. It's based in the Rochester NY area, with its flagship store in neighboring Pittsford being a destination landmark for many food folk. It has not had a store in New England, much to the grievance of many here.

                There's nothing local to compare. You might think of it as a combination of parts of Whole Foods, Roche Bros and Hannaford on good steroids.

                The Boston area, having experienced a huge consolidation of supermarket chains in the 1990s, is particularly deprived of competition in this regard. Just think of how many places the basic choice is Shaws/Star vs S&S. Like every 2-3 miles. Sprinkle in some Roche Bros, Market Baskets and Foodmasters for occasional variety. Stir.

                Many hope the advent of Wegman's here will kick the lazy local butt into better quality. (Including, not incidently, Whole Foods. Wegman's is not a natural food store as such, I should note. It's a general supermarket - plus.)

                1. re: Karl S
                  BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 03:50 PM

                  How many people who actually live in the city are going to drive all the way down to Westwood Station to do all their grocery shopping?

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                    Karl S RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 15, 2008 03:55 PM

                    You might be surprised. Even with gas prices. It would be a lot easier than many other things people already do.

                    1. re: Karl S
                      BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 03:58 PM

                      "Many other things people already do?"

                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                        Ralphie_in_Boston RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 15, 2008 08:27 PM

                        I know people in Boston who rent cars every month or two to go to the IKEA in Stoughton. I'd say these same folks would do the same for Wegmans---not to do *all* their grocery shopping there but just an occasional trip.

                        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                          BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 16, 2008 09:27 AM

                          I'm one of those myself -- we're making an IKEA run on Friday afternoon, as it happens -- and I can see making an occasional trip to Wegmans in similar circumstances. But the hype makes it sound as if it would become commonplace for people across the greater Boston metro area to do a large part of their shopping there, which seems unlikely to me. I'm not saying I disapprove of the store or anything.

                          1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                            Bob Dobalina RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 16, 2008 09:38 AM

                            Sort of like a Stew Leonard's run (CT)
                            Or a Trader Joe's run before they expanded.

                      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                        ginnyhw RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 05:32 AM

                        I think the place will be swarming with people from the Westwood area. I have friends who live there and while they do have a Roche Bros they have to drive to Wellesly for WF and Needham for TJ's. They've been feeling very overlooked. With the new WF coming to Dedham also I think a lot of people from Rozie/West Rox/JP/Brookline Village will be driving down to that area.to shop. We already schlepp down there for Costco and BJ's

                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                          bartleby RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 05:39 AM

                          "Destination" and "supermarket" are not two words I would put together lightly, but I've experienced Wegman's in Buffalo and, yeah, I'd get in the car and drive to Westwood for Wegman's. Wegman's is just a supermarket like Versailles is just a palace.

                          1. re: bartleby
                            ginnyhw RE: bartleby Apr 16, 2008 05:42 AM

                            How is Wegman's pronounced? Does it rhyme with leg or wedge?

                            1. re: ginnyhw
                              Karl S RE: ginnyhw Apr 16, 2008 05:45 AM


                              1. re: ginnyhw
                                newhound RE: ginnyhw May 9, 2008 03:18 PM

                                In high school in Pittsford in the 1980's, we called it "Weggie's" with a hard "g".

                                1. re: newhound
                                  hargau RE: newhound May 9, 2008 04:46 PM

                                  Yep thats what alot of people called it when i lived there. Funny I Had a roomate who graduated pittsford in 85...

                            2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                              hiddenboston RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 06:06 AM

                              BFP, I'm thinking that few people in Boston proper (especially those without cars) would make the trip. But for those who live in the suburbs, a Wegman's in Westwood would be a very popular spot.

                              1. re: hiddenboston
                                hargau RE: hiddenboston Apr 16, 2008 06:36 AM

                                I really dont think they care if people who "actually live in the city" come or not. I doubt its part of their plan or of any concern to them. When you open a market in westwood your target customers are the people in that area. Anyone who comes from the city or further are just bonus customers.. Same as when i Shaws or stop and shop opens, im sure they dont count on people driving an hour to get there.

                                1. re: hargau
                                  BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: hargau Apr 16, 2008 09:19 AM

                                  That's my assumption as well, but Karl S's post made it sound like its opening would be some galvanizing event that would fundamentally shift the entire supermarket scene in New England. I just think that sounds a bit grandiose.

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                    Ralphie_in_Boston RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 09:22 AM

                                    If this location were successful and led to multiple additional Wegmans locations with some closer to town, maybe. I remember when Whole Foods bought Bread & Circus I (foolishly) thought they'd stick with their handful of locations in the area--now they're all over the place.

                                    1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                                      BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 16, 2008 12:13 PM

                                      Yeah, but as was discussed ad nauseum in that "Wegman's In Boston?" thread a while back, there's only a limited number of places that a store the size of the average Wegman's could possibly open inside 128. I mean, not even Wal-Mart has been able to put one of their giant hypermarket Supercenters closer to the city than Salem NH. Whole Foods stores are tiny in comparison, and a small Wegmans wouldn't have all the amenities that its devotees are so fond of, so what would be the point?

                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                        hargau RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 12:22 PM

                                        Your correct. Wegmans would never open a small/scaled down version anywhere. In fact they have closed some of the older stores that were not up to the newer superstore standards. They always are in suburbs, i dont know of any in major city centers. They are in the 140,000-180,000 sf range. The pittsford store even has a 2nd level with seating for dining. If the westwood store works out i can see them expanding to the north shore area, seems to be plenty of space/dead stores around the peabody area. Or west in the northborough area.. Plenty of places they could go just not so easily inside of 128..

                                        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                          Ralphie_in_Boston RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 12:25 PM

                                          Good point, I've never been to a Wegman's and didn't realize they were so huge. But I think the WalMart comparison is skewed by the fact that many folks have a fierce hatred of them (in their own backyard, anyway) and would fight tooth and nail at town meetings against putting a super Walmart in their town.

                                          Wegmans doesn't seem to have the negative reputation that Walmart has, so they would probably have an easier time getting approval by local councils/zoning boards.

                                          1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                                            BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 16, 2008 12:36 PM

                                            Actually, according to that Globe article that ran about a month ago, what's holding up this Wegman's location being official is the town's reluctance to allow a supermarket to sell beer and wine. Apparently, Westwood was completely dry until only a few years ago, and they still have no liquor stores, just some restaurants with beer and wine licenses. There's going to be a vote at the town meeting on May 5, and the likelihood is that if the exception isn't granted, they're not going to put a store there.

                                            Sadly, you can never discount the power of NIMBYism. Heck, here in my neighborhood, people are up in arms about plans to open a Walgreen's of all things. Because god knows we can't have pharmacies around.

                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                              pamlet RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps May 9, 2008 11:47 AM

                                              After reading this thread, I got curious. Anyway, this has been approved: http://www.wscommunityonline.com/wsco...

                                              1. re: pamlet
                                                LindaWhit RE: pamlet May 9, 2008 07:34 PM

                                                This was the best line of the article: "You can go into a Wegmans and spend all day there between shopping and books and cooking"


                                            2. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                                              davefoxdad RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Sep 4, 2011 04:52 AM

                                              "Walmart" used in the same breath as "Wegmans" is an oxymoron in my opinion!

                                            3. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                              lergnom RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 03:15 PM

                                              WalMart was close to some sites nearer town but they backed off, mostly one guesses because they hate to pay much for real estate.

                                          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                            Karl S RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 11:42 AM

                                            It's akin to Norstrom's opening in the Boston area: a market leader finally coming here.

                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                              hargau RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Apr 16, 2008 11:52 AM

                                              I must admit, last summer i drove 7 hours to Rochester... 1st place i went...before even checking into the hotel... Wegmans.. Had to take the gf there as i had told her alot about it.

                                              I think back in the mid 80s when i 1st moved to Rochester the difference between Wegmans and what was in MA was astonishing. There was nothing even close to it here. Today the differences i think are more subtle in some areas as there are some hannafords, Super stop and shop, superstores that do now offer alot of the things that Wegmans does..Plus we have Whole foods and Roche brothers as well. Back in the 80s i cant even recall markets having their own bakeries and baking fresh breads daily, etc...

                                              By the way, at the same time in the mid 80s, I was impressed by Wegmans Sister store which was called Chase Pitkins. It was a Home Depot type place. I had never seen anything like it before. The largest stores we had in MA were Grossmans. Wegmans has since dropped that store now that H.D. and Lowes have moved in.

                                              1. re: hargau
                                                sailormouth RE: hargau Apr 16, 2008 06:21 PM

                                                There's definitely space, South Bay, for example, could easily fit something like that in (or could if they dumped a tenant). When I see these great supermarkets in other parts of the country (Krogers is a great example), they seem to be on a suburban model (as is 99% of the US of A), and perhaps they don't think the business would do well in the big, bad city? Would their competition be S&S, Whole Foods, or Formaggio?

                                                In Westwood it's clear who their competition is and who their customer base is. In town, it's more complicated.

                                              2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                ReluctantOperaChick RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps May 10, 2008 01:19 PM

                                                I totally get why you'd say that, and I'd probably be right there with you...but I have been to the Mountain, and I have drunk the Kool-Aid, and believe me, once you have experienced Wegman's, you'll understand why his post reads as it does.

                                          3. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                            JoeM RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps May 9, 2008 02:24 PM

                                            I live in Beacon Hill and will be there.

                                            Don't forget that people in the city with cars often drive West/South, and Wegman's is bound to be a good place to stop on the way home, especially after a weekend away, to stock up. I'm excited.

                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                              ReluctantOperaChick RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps May 10, 2008 01:17 PM

                                              When I lived in Philadelphia, we drove nearly an hour to Princeton to go to Wegman's probably every other weekend.

                                              Though I don't really see what difference it makes, whether citydwellers will drive to Westwood Station or not. The majority of greater Boston's population is in the "greater" part, rather than Boston.

                                        2. PinchOfSalt RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 03:26 PM

                                          Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I finally got to shop at my first Wegman's a few weeks ago, when I was in Scranton PA for a weekend to help my favorite presidential candidate. A group of us stayed at a motel that happened to be across the street. When I saw the Wegman's was there, I HAD to go. Amazing. Sort of like a Roche Brothers taken up about three notches with a big dose of organics and the like and with very good prices. In other words, even better than I had imagined it based on all the stories one hears.

                                          I am gonna have to find some good excuses to go to Westwood...

                                          1. g
                                            gyppielou RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 03:34 PM

                                            Strange that a Whole Foods and a Wegmans are slated to open 'relatively' close. Not close enough for me, but it will be a boon for area.

                                            1. l
                                              lergnom RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 03:54 PM

                                              Wegman's is more of a hypermarket - a la Fred Meyer or Meier's but without all the departments - than a supermarket. The stores are very large, up to 200k sf.

                                              I was originally surprised they are doing this because sites for their stores in this region are scarce. Westwood Station is one of the few sites large enough to accommodate them and they like to put more stores in the area. In NE, particularly in E. MA, there isn't much land for large-scale development. A slew of large or big box store sites opened up between 5 and 10 years ago when all the discount chains went under but most of those have been reused.

                                              1. LindaWhit RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                Oh, you have just made me VERY happy! I'd drive down on occasion from the Woburn area to go here - I've never been to a Wegman's, but have heard about them from friends from around the country - I don't have to be jealous anymore!

                                                1. s
                                                  sarahbeth RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 05:28 PM

                                                  And you can't forget about all of the wonderful pre-made entrees, hot buffets, coffee and oh the hoagies! Many Wegmans' also have in-store babysitting services, video rentals, bank, post office services, dry cleaning, and photo department. I can't wait to hear that faux-cobblestone under my cart (sorry, I can't get used to calling it a carriage). Man, I will drive from my house in Providence to shop at Wegman's--- happily!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: sarahbeth
                                                    hargau RE: sarahbeth Apr 15, 2008 05:57 PM

                                                    Not to mention chinese food, prepared seafood, pizzas, cheese dept the size of most stores produce departments. Huge bulk food dept. Walk in beer /keg cooler.... Hey they could very well end up the best buffalo wings in MA... Usually they have 4-5 types of wings available at the pizza counter. Some also have cooking schools/classes. The Pittsford one even has a gourmet restaurant http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/sto...

                                                  2. sailormouth RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2008 06:40 PM

                                                    I got really excited, and then re-read the thread. I thought it said Schwegman's, [sigh].

                                                    1. Gio RE: Karl S Apr 16, 2008 05:53 AM

                                                      Coupla questions:
                                                      1. Reading about the faux cobblestones, is the floor bumpy? I wouldn't think the store would be wheelchair unfriendly.
                                                      2. People have been talking about Roche Bros. Is this chain similar to an upscale market? Or is it like Hannaford's/Market Basket/TJ's?

                                                      I think we'd make the trek down to Westwood from Melrose initially to see what all the shouting's about. Many thanks for the information, Karl.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Gio
                                                        Karl S RE: Gio Apr 16, 2008 07:11 AM

                                                        1. No.

                                                        2. I've already tried to explain the difference the best I can.

                                                        1. re: Karl S
                                                          hargau RE: Karl S Apr 16, 2008 07:44 AM

                                                          You can see some photos here: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/sto...

                                                          1. re: hargau
                                                            Gio RE: hargau Apr 16, 2008 08:04 AM

                                                            Thank you Karl and hargau. I "get the picture."
                                                            It seems to me that on the program Take Home Chef with Curtis Stone, Wegman's is one of the markets he goes to find willing home cooks.
                                                            I'm looking forward to this excursion. Any idea when it will open?

                                                      2. l
                                                        lbfoody RE: Karl S Apr 16, 2008 10:54 AM

                                                        I have so many fond memories of shopping at Wegman's in Ithaca, NY, especially beer shopping at midnight during the college years. I would trek the 20+ minutes to Westwood if the store were as large (and have as much variety) as the ones in NY.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: lbfoody
                                                          yumyum RE: lbfoody May 19, 2008 02:41 PM

                                                          Ooops. I was just going to chime in to say I visited Wegman's in Ithaca over Passover this year, just to see what all the hype was about. I didn't think it was all that, and in fact the fish counter was poor.

                                                          I suppose if you have nothing else but Shaws/Stop and Shop, it would be exciting, but with Trader Joe's, WFM, Market Basket around, I will be really surprised if I ever take the trip to Westwood. Stranger things have happened though.

                                                          1. re: yumyum
                                                            hargau RE: yumyum May 19, 2008 02:52 PM

                                                            I would guess the Ithaca store is one of the older stores. Back when i lived in Rochester most of the Wegmans were no better then a super stop and shop. However the newer/super-wegmans were the ones that all the hype is about. They were actively closing down the older stores and upgrading them all.

                                                            Edit: i looked it up on their site and it seems the Ithica store does have alot of the depts the newer stores have. So in that case im suprised you didnt like it.

                                                            1. re: hargau
                                                              yumyum RE: hargau May 19, 2008 06:16 PM

                                                              Please don't get me wrong -- it was a fine store. My hosts for the weekend rely on Wegman's for the great olives, the excellent cheeses, the in-house baked goods. But for me, perhaps due to expectations after reading threads like these, I was kinda like ... it's a store.

                                                        2. m
                                                          mrsx RE: Karl S Apr 16, 2008 12:03 PM

                                                          Good thing I still carry my Wegman's Shopper's Club card, despite the fact that I moved out of upstate New York 18 years ago!

                                                          I always loved three things in particular about Wegman's -- in addition to the selection and service, of course:

                                                          1) The "Cookie Club" -- when I was young and at the market we would always stop at the bakery, where all children could get a gigantic cookie, freshly baked, free of charge.

                                                          2) The lighting -- I always loved the warm color tones to the market... the oranges and browns always felt so rich, almost sumptuous. Other markets make me feel like I'm in an operating room.

                                                          3) Danny's signature -- The fact that there's a printed message featuring CEO Danny Wegmans' signature on every store-brand product made me feel like I knew him, like he was part of my family almost, and I think helped retain a local vibe despite their growth.

                                                          I could go on!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: mrsx
                                                            rohrtr RE: mrsx May 9, 2008 09:28 AM

                                                            ...and don't forget the amazingly fast check out. You will never see a high school kid check you out quicker and more accurately than a Wegman's cash register. I worked there as a teenager and the training is great. Oh, and the cashier bags while they scan! What a concept huh? I can't stand waiting to be checked out by a slow scanner then still have to wait for my groceries to be bagged.

                                                          2. b
                                                            bostonbroad RE: Karl S Apr 16, 2008 02:06 PM

                                                            I live in Roslindale and every weekend I make a shopping loop - Brighton WF and West Rox Roche Bros. I am very excited about the Dedham WF. It won't save me a ton of time, but it will be bigger and in the vicinity of places I can run other errands that would normally be out of the way. I'll check out Wegman's when it opens, but dare I say this might be something that appeals more to people who have relocated from areas where they grew up with this chain? I've always heard good things about it, but based on comments on the board, it seems to be one of those nostalgia things. I'm just wondering if it will seem worth a trip to people who have no experience with the chain and no existing warm, fuzzy feelings about it. Does it really stand out enough to make me go farther out of my way than my West Roxbury/Dedham loop? Like I said, I will definitely give it a shot, but it would have to make WF and Roche Bros. seem like little league to make it worth my effort.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: bostonbroad
                                                              Karl S RE: bostonbroad Apr 16, 2008 03:26 PM

                                                              It's not a nostalgia thing for me. I grew up in an area that didn't have a Wegmans. But I have family that relocated to Rochester in the past decade, and got to know it during my visits. Wegman's is better than WF or RB or Hannaford, and we don't have anything like it, and we could sure use it. Again, I think Nordstrom is a good comparison - an industry leader who comes in and gradually re-sets the local bar for quality.

                                                              1. re: bostonbroad
                                                                rohrtr RE: bostonbroad May 9, 2008 09:24 AM

                                                                Once you experience it you'll understand. Better than Wholefoods. Great presentation, unbelievable selection of foods from around the world, great quality and from what I remember good price.

                                                                1. re: bostonbroad
                                                                  ReluctantOperaChick RE: bostonbroad May 10, 2008 01:23 PM

                                                                  Totally not a nostalgia thing in the slightest. I moved to Philly in my thirties (grew up here); my husband worked in Princeton and somebody sent him to Wegman's as a place to pick up lunch one day, and he came home raving about it. So we went grocery shopping, and I was blown away.

                                                                  The skepticism that Wegman's can really be that fantastic is interesting evidence that there is nothing in this area remotely similar, so it's hard to imagine why people would get so excited about a supermarket. But really, it is that exciting.

                                                                  1. re: ReluctantOperaChick
                                                                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: ReluctantOperaChick May 10, 2008 08:30 PM

                                                                    I'm familiar with Wegman's and similar concepts -- including Central Market/HEB, the Texas chain that Okello mentions below, which includes some of my favorite supermarkets -- and I'm not saying that they're not great stores. I'm just saying that it's far enough away from where I live and shop that its existence will make little difference to my own shopping habits, especially since the thing that makes it most different from most supermarkets (the plethora of prepared foods) is something that makes no difference to me since the extent of my prepared foods purchases at a supermarket is the occasional Bell and Evans rotisserie chicken from Russo's.

                                                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                      hargau RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps May 10, 2008 10:27 PM

                                                                      i dont think the plethora of prepared foods is what makes it most different. They have aprox 3x as many items as a whole foods, or shaws or roche brothers. Plus good prices and a pleasant atmosphere. I think thats what makes it most different. When i 1st moved to Rochester they didnt have more prepared foods then supermarkets we have around here, yet i still found it to be the most incredible market i had ever seen. My mother would come visit from Boston and spend a day doing grocery shopping for my roomates and I, just because it was so enjoyable for her. In the past 10 years, they have added alot of prepared foods just as all markets have.

                                                                      The very idea that people are getting pumped over a market that is being planned to open several years from now tells you it must be really different! The idea that people living in the city or miles away are even contemplating if they would go or not tell you its really different! When would you even bother to think about if you would be going to another market 30-60 minutes away in 2 years!?!

                                                                2. l
                                                                  lergnom RE: Karl S Apr 16, 2008 03:29 PM

                                                                  To put this in an economic context, Wegman's sales are, they say, about 50% higher than average. The average is between $9 and $10 psf. That's per week, which is how the supermarket industry reports. Do the math: if Wegman's is 140k sf, the sales will be something like $110M for the year (140k x 15 x 52). It's not fair to compare an average store because the size is different, but if you imagine a same sized store at $10 psf a week, you see a 25M+ difference. That is a completely unfair number because a competitor of that size would also have more prepared foods, etc. and the gap would not be that large.

                                                                  The question is where does that difference come from? The highest psf parts of a market are stuff like flowers and prepared foods. Wegman's is essentially a huge prepared foods store with a very large restaurant. That's what drives their numbers so high.

                                                                  Does that "change" the Boston market. No. First of all, just look at the dollars, not of this one store but of the stores in the south of Boston around that part of 128 market. Let's say you have a 50k sf store at the industry average - which again is unfair because the bigger, newer stores tend to have more higher psf departments - then you have a whole bunch of stores that gross well over $20M each. Then add in the warehouse clubs, which are nothing but huge markets. Then add in the smaller stores and you get a sense of how huge the grocery market is. I won't even touch mom & pop stores and other food sources. (Remember, this is only a small part of the Boston market.)

                                                                  Then ask where Wegman's gets its sales from. All from other grocers? Some from other grocers and some from local and other restaurants? Some additional sales that might not have been made? That's the experience of Whole Foods; they take sales from different sources and add some new sales. WF, for example, makes a big chunk on their non-food supplements, vitamins and new age-like stuff that regular grocers barely sell now and didn't sell at all a few years ago.

                                                                  A Whole Foods doesn't draw from a huge radius, but Wegman's will because of the experience promised by the sheer size, the restaurant, etc. That means the store's effect on that local slice of the Boston market is diluted by the percentage of business that comes from outside that local market. I don't know their numbers - and would love to see a zipcode breakdown or intercept study - but it should be a pretty large number, partly because longer trips mean larger total tickets.

                                                                  I don't know a Wegman's draw radius, but if it's similar to a hypermart out West, then it could easily be 25 miles. BTW, that doesn't exclude longer trips; it's more of a confidence interval that describes a percentage of trips.

                                                                  If there is an "overall" effect, it's likely to be the similar to that created by Starbucks and other national chains which move in: upgrading of local facilities, delineation of differences between local and national, etc. It's not that well known, but Starbucks' locations tend to increase the local coffee market, creating more business for other businesses, including coffee competitors, nearby.

                                                                  1. r
                                                                    rohrtr RE: Karl S May 9, 2008 09:18 AM

                                                                    A friend of mine from Rochester, who lives in Boston, told me that her mother was watching the news back home and heard the same thing. I lived down south and now in New England and there is nothing better in the world than Wegman's grocery stores. I grew up with Wegman's and even worked there during high school. If this is true and they happen to penatrate this horrible grocery store market, I just might have to move to Westwood.

                                                                    1. o
                                                                      okello RE: Karl S May 10, 2008 05:59 PM

                                                                      Interesting! I took a look at the pictures, and it seems that Wegman's may be similar to a Central Market (a Texas thing). Definitely a destination grocery store, if that's the case. Could be exciting. What's the ETA?

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: okello
                                                                        VivreManger RE: okello May 10, 2008 08:00 PM

                                                                        Where exactly is Westwood Station? Preferably a street address with a zip code. If that does not exist, how about some route intersections?

                                                                        Does anyone know the time table for the opening of the store now that the liquor license has been approved? Is next fall, a reasonable target date?

                                                                        A few years ago I think I read that the Wegman's in Princeton carried Pierre Herme cookies. Are they generally available in their stores elsewhere?

                                                                        1. re: VivreManger
                                                                          lergnom RE: VivreManger May 10, 2008 08:12 PM

                                                                          It's a planned development on 128 and University Avenue in Westwood. It doesn't yet exist. Next fall is not at likely. Maybe in 2 years.

                                                                          1. re: VivreManger
                                                                            BostonZest RE: VivreManger May 10, 2008 08:14 PM

                                                                            here's the site-- Its right by the 128 railroad station.


                                                                        2. q
                                                                          qc204 RE: Karl S May 17, 2008 09:38 PM

                                                                          Wegman's is definitely opening at Westwood Station. Construction has already started and will be completed in 2010. My husband's company did the real estate deal for Westwood Station and he said that the Wegman's will be ~160,000 sq ft (the size of a Target which is HUGE for a supermarket!). He said that the other supermarket chains such as Whole Foods, Stop n Shop, Roche Bros, etc had been trying to prevent Wegman's from entering the Boston market by making it hard for them to get a liquor license because Wegman's is the #1 supermarket chain. I'm not familiar with Wegman's but he described it to me as "Whole Foods on steroids". As an interesting side note, Westwood Station is being developed to become the new Shopper's World.

                                                                          We live in Newton and he said that I will definitely be driving the extra 20 minutes to go to Wegman's because of how awesome it is and I already drive out of the way to go to the Roche Bros in Wellesley because I think it's awesome!

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: qc204
                                                                            lergnom RE: qc204 May 18, 2008 11:28 AM

                                                                            You'll drive there on occasion but not regularly, which is how Wegmans sees things. A store of that size, almost any store, will - as your husband must know - have a draw radius of 15-25 miles, figured in a suburban market.

                                                                            You won't go that often because the traffic will be horrendous. It already is terrible in that area and this and the other big development there will make it much worse. 128 is completely loaded and you have in that small area the coming together of 128 and Rt 1, 95 and then 24.

                                                                            You also won't go routinely because in general canned goods are canned goods, lettuce is mostly lettuce (especially if packaged), etc. If they have something special you want, then you'll pick that up on one of your special trips.

                                                                            Destination shopping.

                                                                            1. re: lergnom
                                                                              jvish RE: lergnom May 19, 2008 10:47 AM

                                                                              No I will be driving out of my way on a regular basis to shop there. If someone really enjoys shopping at a certain market they will do most of thier, say weekly shopping at that location.
                                                                              Plus my wife went to Syracuse, and I think Wegmans may have been her fondest memory of the place ...so she actually might be sleeping out front waiting for the place to open

                                                                              1. re: jvish
                                                                                lergnom RE: jvish May 19, 2008 02:09 PM

                                                                                I've spent time in Syracuse and can see how that could be true.

                                                                          2. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Karl S Oct 22, 2008 09:48 PM

                                                                            The good news is that the liquor license issue has been resolved:


                                                                            The bad news is that, according to this article, Canton's state rep is now trying to block the Westwood Station development because of traffic concerns.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                              sadieeats RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 8, 2008 06:00 AM

                                                                              Mr Roche is running scared...and should be!! Roche Bros doesn't stand a chance against Wegmans!!

                                                                              1. re: sadieeats
                                                                                BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: sadieeats Nov 8, 2008 10:07 AM

                                                                                Er...the current imbroglio has nothing to do with Roche Brothers. That one has been resolved. The holdup now is about traffic complaints, as per usual with this kind of development. Complaints about traffic is why there's still a dead mall in Somerville instead of an IKEA.

                                                                                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                                  Bob Dobalina RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 10, 2008 04:58 AM

                                                                                  Though I believe the IKEA in Somerville has been worked out...just as soon as they extend the Green Line...

                                                                                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                                                    BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Bob Dobalina Nov 10, 2008 10:14 AM

                                                                                    Well, at least our great-grandkids will have a place to shop.

                                                                                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                                      catsmeow RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 7, 2008 06:10 AM

                                                                                      Great news!!!! I just got my daily e-mail from Bankers and Tradesman, and one of the headline stories was that Wegmans was finally granted a liquor license for the Westwood location.

                                                                                      1. re: catsmeow
                                                                                        Eastwind RE: catsmeow Mar 5, 2009 07:38 PM

                                                                                        Looks like Wegmans is opening a store in Northborough (MA) as well.

                                                                                        They certainly got all eyes on the Boston and the Massachusetts market.

                                                                                        The great thing about Wegmans, in comparsion to Wal-Mart and such, is they are always rated one of the best places to work for.

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