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Jan 10, 2009 02:19 AM

Why can't we get a Wegman's in Philly?

I wish that we could get a Wegman's in Philadelphia. I am in NE Philly and have to go to Cherry Hill in order to shop at Wegman's. I would do mopst of my shopping there if it was closer, but it is not practical to do this. I run over there if I need top quality meats, but thats it. It was also announced that all Wegman's cut their prices across the board. We ned one here!!!!

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  1. The main reason is that it would probably be too expensive to build a Wegmans in Philadelphia, especially Center City. Given the large size of the stores, the real estate cost in the city would be extremely high.

    1. Isn't Warminster closer than Cherry Hill from the NE? I used to live there and pop on the Tacony Bridge, but I think the Wegman's in Warminster may be closer, just saying.

      1. Well, if there is a Trader Joe's, I agree with the original post. If that store has real estate in CC, there's no reason a Wegman's can't come. I'd love to shop there but have no car . . . .

        8 Replies
        1. re: mlplyons

          The Trader Joes that I have been in across the country are less than half the size of Wegmans. I think it is very unlikely that you will see a Wegmans anywhere in Philadelphia.

          1. re: mitchh

            I like Wegman's more than Trader Joes. I always feel chlostraphobic in TJ whereas Wegman's is huge and has a sweet food court.

            1. re: DobieGillis©

              To be fair to TJ's, they aren't the same thing. It would be like saying that you like Genuardi's better than Wawa. :)

              TJ's is good for what it is, IMO, an overpriced specialty/boutique food store. Wegmans is a true supermarket that happens to be on steroids!

              1. re: mitchh

                mitchh, that's an excellent way to put it! the majority of TJs stock is prepared and pre-packaged foods that would be fine for road trip car snacks, but i find very few ingredients to cook my own meals at home.

                wegman's is a HUGE and i just couldn't see it fitting anywhere in center city. however i'm all for them taking over one of the existing, less useful big-box stores down in south philly! :) i'm generally not a fan of supermarkets, but i would make an exception if we had a wegman's.

                1. re: rabidog

                  Thanks for educating me guys! I've just heard such good things about Wegman's but have never actually been in one . . . . With what you've said, I guess one will never come to Philly, but one could only hope. Just never realized they were so big . . . .

            2. re: mitchh

              There is absolutely no comparison between Trader Joes and Wegman's. Trader Joes is eclectic and draws from a very different demographic than Wegman's , which is an up-scale supermarket.

              1. re: bucksguy14

                What demographic does TJ's draw from bucksguy? I am always curious about such things, probably because I am So the wrong demographic for my hobby of choice. :)

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Well, being a business, not a social studies, major, I have to say I don't know the scientific terminology for the difference. However, by looking at the products of the two stores, and seeing the people who work and shop in each store, my conclusion is that they don't target the same market. That's not a good, or bad, thing, it's just business!

          2. you guys have Warminster, cherry hill, exton on the way, downingtown, please wegmans come to pittsburgh!

            12 Replies
            1. re: Mr Siegal

              Mr Siegal, don't forget about Collegeville!

              1. re: mitchh

                Has anyone been to both Wegman's in da burbs? Collegeville and Warminster? I think I live about equidistant to both and am wondering if one is better than the other?

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  I LOVE the one in Warminster, but I always get that vapid glazed look when I walk inside -- like Ma Kettle in the big city. My sister is something of a Wegman's whore. She referees both lacrosse & field hockey, hence she drives around a lot. Any, and I do mean ANY, opportunity she has to stop at a Wegman's, she does. She claims that her car is programmed to seek out Wegman's & automatically veer into their parking lot. I will have top ask her for a comparison (if she doesn't card me first).

                  1. re: PattiCakes

                    He he! Thanks Patti! Love them crabcakes. And cheesecake and pies and steak and shrimp and...Umm how about that snow? :)

                  2. re: givemecarbs

                    Collegevile isn't open yet.

                    However, all of the ones that I have been to (Scranton, Bethlehem, Allentown, Warrington, Downingtown) are very consistent.

                    1. re: mitchh

                      Are they all open 24 hours? It is fun going to the warrington one late nite. Also that way I can resist them hot crab cakes.

                      1. re: givemecarbs

                        I believe they all are open 24/7.

                        I went to college in midstate NY and remember going to Wegmans in the wee hours of the morning.

                        I'm really bummed that the Collegeville one isn't opening until October. I was hoping it would be much sooner.

                        1. re: givemecarbs

                          They are open 24/7 in towns that allow them to. If they like the area, but are not permitted 24/7 they open 6a-12mn. You'll see that in several Jersey stores.

                        2. re: mitchh

                          I await with baited breath and palate for Collegeville to open. Is there a projected grand opening date yet? I'll feel sorry for the Collegeville Redner's and Acme once they do.

                          1. re: Chefpaulo

                            October 11, 2009 is Opening day for Collegeville store.
                            A Philadelphia store is not out of the question. A couple of hurdles have just been jumped in Boston for a Wegmans (there is no apostrophe). That store is probably 3 years away.

                        3. re: givemecarbs

                          Collegeville doesn't open until October, '09. I've been to both the Exton and Warrington stores. I believe the one in Warrington is slightly better, but that's just a personal opinion. I've been in Wegman's in NY and NJ, as well and I think all of their stores are really good. Hard to beat the produce quality, baked goods are terrific, sushi stand is reasonable, prepared foods are pretty good, fish is fresh, prices are very competitive. The only complaint I've ever had is that they limit their selections, but considering the size of the stores and what they do offer, my complaint is a mild one.

                          1. re: givemecarbs

                            When I lived out in Coatesville I would hit the Downingtown Wegman's for most of my regular shops then moved to Cheltenham so I have to go to either Warrington or Cherry Hill. Also stopped by the new one in Collegeville on opening weekend (yikes!). Would have to say that for all intents and purposes they're all great. All 3 PA ones have a great beer selection, they all have the killer (but expensive) asian hot table and all the other things that make Wegman's such a unique and fantastic store with an unbelievable amount of choices. Great meats, breads, cheeses and of course prepared foods. Trust me, you will not be disappointed no matter which one you go to!

                      2. There is also a Wegmans in Mt. Laurel, in a shopping center with a Super Target AND a Costco (in addition to DSW, Petsmart, TJ MAXX, and many other stores). Being able to make all those stops in one shopping center makes the extra drive there worth it. Personally, I think the store in Mt. Laurel is much nicer than the one in CH. Wegmans has a formula for figuring out where best to go. I'm sure they have looked at CC, but the land prices are much too high, as all Wegmans have large with ample parking to boot. Like the OP, I seriously doubt there will be a Wegmans in CC.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: mschow

                          I think one of the impediments to having a Wegman's in center city is the logistics of how people purchase food items. TJ's is geared toward the person who leaves the store with only 1 or two bags full of stuff, not the car trunk fulls of stuff the typical suburban shopper buys. For the Wegman's shopper, having a car is essential. For most (not all) residents of CC, it would be an onerous task to cart all of that stuff back to their residence, then get in into their kitchen. I don't think a full-sized Wegmans could survive given that type of shopping pattern, nor do I think it would be easy to find a location in the right area that had not only room for a store, but also room for adequate parking.

                          Just as an FYI, one of the things that makes me admire Wegman's tremendously is the fact that they seem to be in the forefront of the pressure to make beer/wine available in the supermarkets in PA -- just like in those real states (grin) of NY & NJ.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            I'm willing to get in line to repeal the stupid "blue laws". The real problem is the unionized work force in the state stores - and the politicians that cater to them because the rest of us don't get organized and demand that the stores be privitized.

                            1. re: bucksguy14

                              Thank you bucksguy14. Great statement. As a former CC resident, it was torturous doing the state store thing. Horrible selection and rude service to boot. But will it ever end? I doubt it, in the state of PA with the union lock they have.
                              BTW: we don't have liquor in any of the stores I shop in in NJ. Zagaras had it for a while (before they closed) and BJ's does, but your regular grocery store does not. Well, at least we have other options, unlike the PA residents...

                              1. re: mschow

                                Yeah Penna system is awful. I usually manage to have a good time at the state store in the same shopping center as Ray's Pizza, they have friendly help and sampling and good hours, and the store near Whole Foods has been good to me too but I left the store in the hillcrest shopping center in Lansdale empty handed and mad. I had a list of wines recommended by chowhounds and the employee couldn't help me find a single one, even the ones I found at other stores like menage a trois and the chicken wine. He seemed awfully eager to sic me on his manager to help me, it was odd. I want to be able to buy two buck chuck at TJs!!!!!! Hmm we did have Vidalia for a little while in Lansdale, that place was awesome, you could buy a bottle of beer and then go upstairs and surf the net on their pcs for free, and then get milk and a 4.99 meal deal on the way out. Sigh.

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  They don't sell the two buck chuck at the TJ in Marlton; I'm guessing it might have something to do with a liquor license, but they do sell it at the TJ in Westfield, NJ. My mother's friend buys a case of it when she goes, and mom buys some bottles off of her. It's actually pretty good!

                                  1. re: mschow

                                    /Crawls into a corner and sobs hysterically. :) -oppressed in Penna.

                                2. re: mschow

                                  Wegmans Bridgewater, NJ on Rt 202 has a wine and beer store attached to it. It can be controlled separately but you can just walk through to it through the main grocery store to get to it. Might have slightly different hours - not sure.

                              2. re: PattiCakes

                                that's an interesting observation, and probably true... however if they found a place down near the other big-box stores in south philly, they'd definitely get the driving crowd. the parking lots at those stores (ikea, home depot, superfresh, target) is just as crazy and packed as their suburban counterparts.

                                we haven't had a car for three months now, so driving across the bridge to the cherry hill wegman's is no longer an option, but i would definitely find a way to frequent one if they put it in the above-mentioned s. philly location. there's a bus route that goes right there, and i can haul a mean load with my folding laundry cart! :)

                                in general i am very anti-supermarket (i believe the majority take all the foodie fun out of grocery shopping and turn it into more of an ERRAND, dirty word!) but i do love me a wegman's. i am all in favor of grocery places where i don't need a list: i just walk in, and let the fresh produce or a new cheese or a rustic bread inspire my dinner menus for the week!

                              3. re: mschow

                                The Mt Laurel Wegmans is hands down the best one I've ever visited. We shop there every week.