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Dec 5, 2011 12:19 PM

Wegman's announces a Newton location

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. said Monday it plans to bring a smaller urban concept store to Newton, Mass.

The Rochester, N.Y. family-owned supermarket chain, which opened a full-scale store in Northborough in October, plans to build a 70,000-square-foot food store at the Chestnut Hill Square development on Route 9 (Boylston Street), directly across from The Mall at Chestnut Hill in Newton. The company does not have a construction schedule or opening date planned, however, according to a press release.

“Though smaller in size, this store will have almost everything customers have come to expect from Wegmans, including a Market Café,” says Bill Congdon, vice president and New England division manager, in a press release. “We are thrilled with the success of our Northborough store, which broke every previous grand opening record set by our company.”

Founded in 1916, Wegmans Food Market is a 79-store supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts.

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  1. I dont want a smaller one I want the whole darn shebang!

    4 Replies
    1. re: C. Hamster

      This is excellent news. The (brand new) Star down the road has the worst layout of any supermarket I have ever set foot in.

      1. re: Gordough

        That Star has been the worst store known to mankind (besides the defunct Omni) since dinosaurs roamed the earth!

        1. re: Gordough

          so glad i'm not the only one who feels that way about the star market. YUCK. so happy to have something new and improved...def worth a U turn!

          1. re: Gordough

            That Star's layout is awful, I agree, and their selection is ridiculously small

        2. That'll be an awesome addition - can't wait to compare it to the overpriced Star Market there.

          19 Replies
          1. re: Prav

            They must also subscribe to the Boston Business Journal's Daily Update!

            For those of us not in the know, what makes Wegman's so special?!?!

            1. re: Blumie

              See any of the other half-dozen Wegmans threads for full details, but honestly the big deal about Wegmans has always been that their stores are massive. So I'm actually slightly puzzled about the idea that that this store is only 70,000 sq. ft. (not actually that much bigger than the Star near me at Packard Corner, in other words). It kind of runs counter to their own myth.

              For myself, I'll just say what I've said in other threads: Wegmans is a very, very good grocery store. But they're still just a grocery store. This one sounds like it'll be even more of a just-a-grocery-store than the others in the region.

              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                Thanks. As others have pointed out, that area needs a good grocery store, even if it's "just a grocery store."

                That said, if it's "just a grocery store," I have to imagine that Wegman's would be my choice when traveling east on Rte 9, and Star when traveling west. Do folks think it's gonna be so much better than Star that it'd be worth crossing over?

                1. re: Blumie

                  It's worth crossing over, for sure.

                  Wegmans is definitely at its core just a nice grocery store with decent prices, but it also features a great sub shop, a good bakery, great meat counter, seafood counter, pizza, like 4-5 separate hot food bars, a cheese shop, an appliance/cookware section, a wine+beer store, etc. If I were with infinite time and only could go to big places, I would split my shopping between Market Basket, Whole Foods, and Wegmans, with Trader Joe's for treats.

                  If I had one nearby (not yet in Arlington, Burlington soon though!) I would never set foot in a Star or Stop+Shop as long as I lived. I hate those places so.. damn.. much.

                  1. re: marcreichman

                    Ditto. They are the worst stores I ever had to shop in.

                    1. re: sandiasingh

                      I always wonder where the people who complained about Star and S&S used to live that the supermarkets were so much better there. Because honestly, compared to the supermarkets of my West Texas childhood (IGA, United, Furrs, Krogers), even the very worst Star Market or Stop&Shop (and yes, some locations of both, like the Brigham Circle S&S or the Mt. Auburn Star, are godawful) is a veritable temple of consumerist bliss.

                      That said, I'd jump for joy if an HEB ever opened up hereabouts.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                        I lived in DC, where they grocery stores (Giant and Safeway) are almost as bad, and grew up in the midwest with Kroger, which I thought sucked at the time but it's certainly better than Shaw's or Stop & Shop. But frankly, I've traveled from ME to GA in the east, and being a foodie, I spend a fair amount of time checking out supermarkets, in large part because the ones in DC and Boston suck so badly.

                        Aside from DC (and the part of FL I visited, near Fort Myers) it's hard to find anyplace that *doesn't* have MUCH better supermarkets than Shaw's and S&S. Growing up in West Texas must've been an even worse nightmare than growing up in Indiana.

                        1. re: KWagle

                          Your experience is much like mine, (Hy Vee, piggy wiggly, food line) but have to say that until a few years ago my Super Stop and Shop (n.Quincy) was The. Best. Store. Ever.

                          Not so much now, sadly. Roche bros gets my nod now but it's spendy.

                          Why not a big Wegmans in that space??

                  2. re: Blumie

                    Wouldn't most people have to crossover to get back home anyway? ;-)

                      1. re: Blumie

                        Wegman's isn't "just a grocery store." They try to put all possible products a buyer could want under one roof, and then outcompete smaller specialized local stores. So you buy knives at Wegmans instead of the little place down the street, you buy Indian produce at Wegmans rather than the place across town, you buy seafood at Wegmans rather than at the little place that's been there forever, you buy cheese and chocolates at Wegmans rather than at other places.

                        1. re: steinpilz

                          OK it's just a supermarket then.

                          1. re: Gabatta

                            Yes it's just a supermarket, like Wallmart is just a department store.

                        2. re: Blumie

                          Wegman's is "just a grocery store" the same way the Vatican is just another church. I have been shopping at Wegman's in Upstate NY for 25+ years. It's more than it's many departments. I can find Vegemite, lemon curd, sun dried tomato paste, prime meats, a lot of things most stores don't carry, plus, their prices are better than Wallbarf, and their quality is so much better than anyone elses.

                          1. re: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah

                            I can buy Vegemite, lemon curd, sun-dried tomato paste and more besides at the supermarket three blocks away from me, and I prefer to get my meat from a local farm where I know what I'm getting. So I still don't see Wegmans as in any way special.

                            Sure, those were wacky specialty items 20 years ago, but c'mon: who in a town of any reasonable size can't find lemon curd and sun-dried tomato paste these days?

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              Totally agree, Jenny!! Not to mention all the great small places we have here like Russo's, Arax & the countless little ethnic groceries that are all over the place that not only have a great selection of interesting specialty items, but (would be willing to bet) at prices much, much lower.

                              Plus, it gives me great pleasure to give my meager dollars to a local shop, rather than a humungous store/company coming in from another state.

                              Just sayin'...

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                Wegmans does provide local meats and vegetables--at least local in upstate NY. I don't know what he does in other areas but presumably the same.

                                But you're right about continuing to shop at smaller local stores. It's too easy to get sucked into picking it up at Wegmans and not making the effort to go elsewhere.

                                1. re: sr44

                                  Well, I mean local farm as in a farm where the animals are slaughtered and cut right there, as in Blood Farm in Groton, which is where I buy 90% of my meat.

                    1. So Newton by the Chestnut Hill Mall is now considered urban? I suppose I should be happy that this may be a version it wouldn't take me 2 hours to get to. Guess I'll wait the two years and see the reaction when it opens.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kobuta

                        When the site was the Omni Market we always shopped there and lots of Brookline kids worked there thanks to the 60 Bus that runs from Kenmore up rte 9 to the property -it's a fairly reliable bus line.

                      2. I wonder if this deal wasn't helped along by the new law that allows market chains to have more liquor licenses.

                        I'm curious to see what gets cut: dry goods? Will they do the WF thing and have a huge prepared foods area?

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: lergnom

                          The huge prepared foods area is actually more of a Wegmans thing than a WF thing: their big draw is that they have this enormous prepared foods selection. It's called the Market Cafe, and the blurb is careful to say it'll have one.

                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                            Jenny, I was thinking more of the WF in Dedham that is basically a prepared foods market with some grocery attached. I travel to and from Rochester and know Wegman's well. My question is what they mean by "urban concept" because this is not their usual store; it's little more than 1/2 size. That makes it similar to a Super Stop & Shop but my guess is they'll run it more like WF. That means they'll have to cut something else. What?

                            1. re: lergnom

                              My bet is the liquor store area - it's almost 1/3 of the Northborough Store and very much like a big box store set-up. Maybe just beer and wine - no hard stuff?

                              1. re: Berheenia

                                Almost 1/3??? The store is 138,000 sq/ft and the alcohol section is 15,000 sq/ft.
                                I would think that is a high profit area and an area Wegmans refuses to open a store without. I could see them getting rid of alot of the home and health area in the front and middle of the store..
                                Im sure they have data that shows profit per inch of floor/shelf space for every item and just cut off the bottom of that list. I would suspect alcohol is not near the bottom.

                                1. re: hargau

                                  Sorry but it felt like a third - it was so cavernous. Maybe they could change it up. Agree about the home and health- we never went near those areas on our visit and it was the first time in a long time that I got physically tired out shopping a grocery store.

                                  1. re: hargau

                                    The highest pst generator is often flowers. I used to be a reader of Supermarket News.

                          2. ...."Douglass Karp, executive vice president of New England Development, said the Chestnut Hill Square project is already under construction, and the retail portion is expected to be completed by fall 2013."


                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Gio

                              And those of us who remember Sidney Hills sigh and say "I hope so", but remember 9 other announcements of "COMING SOON" that just didn't happen.

                              If it does happen, I hope they bring back the domed roof!

                              1. re: L2k

                                Ha, yes, and the Friendly's. I lived on Florence St. as a kid and we went to the Stop & Shop there. That whole little strip mall got torn down, didn't it?

                                1. re: Moopheus

                                  And Sozio!

                                  Most of it burned down. All but the Grocery store, pretty much.

                                  1. re: L2k

                                    I thought only the office buiding burned down.