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Nov 15, 2010 06:13 AM

Wegmans Wine, Beer & Liquor - Ocean, NJ [Now Open]

With over 2500 wines and 600 beers, they claim "No one in New Jersey has lower prices on
the most popular wines, beers and liquor - everyday."

1104 Highway 35

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  1. we've purchased a lot of wine from Wegman's West Windsor store. Wine pricing for many of our favorites is usually 10 - 20 % lower than the local Joe Canals and most other local shops.

    I asked the Wegman's wine manager about discounts for buying cases of wine and he replied "they sell at or below cost", therefore no discounts.

    Wegman's pricing for spirits (ex Tanqueray) is about the same as Canal's. Even if it was a bit more, the convenience of one stop shopping at Wegmans is worth it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Foody4life

      I look forward to visiting the new store. Hopefully the pricing will be better than the predecessor.

      1. re: bgut1

        Prices and attitude are absolutely better than the predecessor - the old place was very expensive, had mediocre selection and a generally surly staff, to boot!

        1. re: OGguy

          The old place was like a textbook on how not to run a shop. It's like they figured "Hey, we're next to wegmans...people will buy our stuff no matter what we charge for it!"

          The new liquor store is fantastic, their prices are great and the staff friendly. I love that I live 2 minutes from Wegmans. :)

    2. Just got back from Wegmans liquor store and I was not overly impressed. True they do have excellent pricing, which may send me there once a while as I have been a Wegmans shopper since they opened in Ocean anyway. However, that said there wine selection is weak at best. There is no depth in any particular area or country. There beer selection is fine but nothing to brag about, and I did not look at the spirits.

      The place reminds me of Costco with the floor to ceiling industrial racks and inventory on pallets
      high above. I was not expecting the Wine Library here but they could have done a whole lot better than this. By the way if you go you will be carded regardless of your age as they have to enter your B'day in their system before the sales transaction will complete. You must show them an ID with your DOB.

      I guess it's old man Wegmans way of being politically correct - either that or he does not have much confidence in the ability of his hired help.

      Wine Library
      586 Morris Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081

      10 Replies
      1. re: JerzeyShore

        "By the way if you go you will be carded regardless of your age as they have to enter your B'day in their system before the sales transaction will complete. You must show them an ID with your DOB. I guess it's old man Wegmans way of being politically correct - either that or he does not have much confidence in the ability of his hired help."

        Or maybe, just maybe, management wants to protect their investment in his liquor sales license (those things don't come cheaply, by the way) and avoid monetary fines that come out of the bottom line ..... as well as meet the responsibility to the community that comes with that license. Trusting the "hired help" is a red herring. Would it be better for the employees if they don't have a job because the business isn't profitable or has been forced to close its doors as a result of legal action ? Leave that kind of simpleminded grousing at the door to the union hall.

        1. re: bakersma

          Just look around you - there are plenty of liquor stores operating who do not feel the need to card a 95 year old person. Truly a progressive government sanctioned idea that you support. I guess you do not trust your own judgement either ...

          1. re: JerzeyShore

            I just don't understand you people. What is the big deal about showing the clerk your ID ? I'm presuming that you drove to the store in which case you have your photo driver's license with you. Easy enough. If you didn't drive, you probably still have a wallet or purse which contains ---besides your money and/or credit card that you're about to hand the clerk to pay for the purchase--- some sort of photo ID.

            As far as concern for the employees go, I think the management is actually doing them a favor by providing 'cover' when they ask a customer for ID....rather than put the burden of the decision on them, they can just say 'sorry, the boss makes us do it' and that's that. And just imagine how an employee would feel if he/she is distracted or guesses incorrectly and ends up selling to an underage undercover buyer. Requiring the ID of everyone makes sense.

            Finally, what's your big hurry ? You know you'll have to show ID since there are prominent signs to that effect in the store, so you'll have it ready to hand over upon request. Takes 15 extra seconds for clerk to check it, if that ? And hey, it's not like they're going to X-ray you or pat down your private parts !

            1. re: bakersma

              Our local wegmans has 30+ checkouts where you could potentially pay for wine or beer. It's an easy management decision for 100% check and one I support.

              Now if I could only get them to re-stock the Nickel & Nickel that was replaced by the pallets of $10 and under wines!

        2. re: JerzeyShore

          Wegman's is a major political supporter of groups trying to loosen alcoholic beverage laws in at least two states (NJ and PA) to allow grocery stores to more easily get licenses. In NJ, they are actively behind an "astroturf" group ( ) trying to change the so-called "two license" law for off-premise stores. Wegman's gets around the law by having individual Wegman family member "own" the stores/license and use Wegman's as a "dba" name. For instance, the receipt for the store in Manalapan reads "JWG Fine Wines & Liquors" - JWG is apparently Joan Wegman Goldberg

          One of the arguments for the status quo is that the current system limits are necessary to prevent underage drinking. Wegman's relatively recent * 100% ID program is clearly a response to that argument.

          * They claim it went into effect in 2004, I was never carded at a Wegman's until within the last year or so. The twenty-something in line behind me laughed like hell - "You're asking HIM for ID?" Nice.

          1. re: JessKidden

            good. alcohol laws should be loosened. As they say: "Alcohol,Tobacco and Firearms" should be a convenience store, not a government agency :)

            1. re: Mr. Bingley

              The problem with the Wegman backed repeal of the two license limit is that it "loosens" the laws only to the benefit of the big chains, not necessarily to the consumer, since it does not create new licenses, only allows the big stores to buy up existing ones, as their own website admits:

              "Will this mean wine and beer will be everywhere?"

              "The bill does not increase the number of licenses available in the state. Those numbers are controlled by municipalities. It just allows companies to acquire more than two of the licenses that are available."


              1. re: JessKidden

                Ah, I'm with ya' now!

                We need more licenses, not fewer licensees.

                1. re: Mr. Bingley

                  I had a chance to visit the new Wegman's Wine and Liquor store. Many of the above comments are spot on. I found the selection of wine and liquor to be very limited (except for the large beer selection) and miss the design, variety and convenience of the prior business. That being said, I still find this one to be an improvement due mostly in part to the pricing and service (something which was almost nonexistent with the prior operation). The other one was nice to look at (and pick up the occassional hard to find item), however, I see myself actually buying things here. I would compare this store to Bottle King, limited selection but great pricing and service. Good Luck.

            2. re: JessKidden

              Hi JessKidden. I live in the heart of Wegmans-land, so I'm familiar with why the ID checking policy changed some time ago.

              A few years back, an underage kid bought alcohol at Wegmans and then ended up in an accident resulting in his death. His family sued Wegmans for having sold alcohol to someone legally unfit. I seem to recall the cashier was young, so may not have been an expert at judging age of people near 21 years old.

              A good lawyer could build a compelling legal case against Wegmans for negligence -- not taking appropriate and reasonable due care that a person would ordinarily be expected to do. In addition, such situations results in negative PR which can be damaging to a company that works hard at building up its reputation and brand. Not to mention risking issues with local liquor-licensing boards. Finally, if they carded everybody regardless of age, it takes a lot of the uncertainty off the shoulders of a younger cashier.

              So long story made short, Wegmans now cards everybody and has done so for some time now. At least, they do at the store where I shop, just a few miles from the corporate HQ. I look (and am) much older than 21 but still am carded and have no issues with it, especially considering the very real human tragedy that led to this, no matter who was at fault in that incident.

              And, no, I don't work for Wegmans. :-) I'm a transplant and not born/raised in the area, but am a long-time very satisfied customer of theirs for the last 18 years.

              (P.S. For those not from the area: If you ever fly into Rochester, NY... when exiting the airport, take a left and drive a couple hundred feet. Wegmans corporate HQ is literally right past a railroad bridge that you pass underneath.)