Wegmans eyes South End, Fenway for possible first Boston supermarket

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    Wegmans!

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    1) It let me read it without a login. We don't need no steenkin badges.

    2) Roxbury! Way better for the neighborhood than a damn Walmart.

    The Wegmans Challenge

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    I'm interested to see how Wegmans works out here. I know that people love the place, and that the firm has already gotten a taste of our Yankee curmudgeonliness somewhere in the hinterlands around 495, but being in the urban core is a whole different kettle of fish. Their huge square footage model is going to be dramatically changed in these proposed urban locations, and frankly, the clientele is going to be a lot different in here than it is in the exurbs, and a hell of a lot different than it is in western New York.

    The biggest thing that I always hear about Wegmans is how nice everyone who works there is, and this is what I think is going to be the trickiest thing to maintain. They can't bring in the friendly western New York staff because (notwithstanding my many bright, talented and kind friends from wNY who live here, but don't work in retail) they'll be ground down in days by the brusqueness of the natives and retreat to Rochacha. Finding Bostonians capable of even feigning that level of friendliness is going to be a hell of a time - not least because they'll be dealing with the Bostonians who won't/don't/can't even make the effort to fake friendliness.

    All of that said, I have heard what a great company it is, was impressed by the single store that I have visited (not locally), and I hope that they succeed here and put some competitve pressure on the incumbents to clean up their acts.

    Wegmans is like a Roche Bros

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    Wegmans is like a Roche Bros basically, no need for embellishing. Luckily I still have my wegmans card :)

    and dont forget about wegmans' chickengate :P

    Seconded

    If I have to do the "express run" on a weekend, (go in the left hand door, grab milk and bread, hit the temporary express lane) I park on the street.

    I dare Adam to check it out on a Saturday afternoon and not agree.

    FWIW, the Flagship store in Lowell is almost as bad.

    Oh that's what I meant

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    The only thing that sucks is when you get a cart, specifically to put it on the thing and watch it ascend, then some "helpful" attendant is standing there and takes the cart from you, sometimes not even putting it on and just wanting you to take some random cart at the top that you didn't even watch go for a ride.

    That and the aisles are named after local streets. WTF

    It's easier to be friendly

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    When you're making a living wage.

    I'm not a Wegmanite, but I thought that one of their claims to fame was that they paid a very good wage for service industry jobs. Getting paid a fare wage, being well treated by your employer and held to a high standard of customer service sounds like a pretty good recipe for friendly employees.

    Worked at Wegmans in college

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    For about 2 years. They paid a great wage, treated employees well, gave health insurance to part-time employees, AND practically gave away scholarships to college students. This was way back in 1997! Hoping their next location in Boston is T accessible - what a treat that would be!

    Counter examples abound

    I shop at urban core Trader Joe's and Blanchards and find the staff very friendly and helpful. A lot depends on whether it matters to management.

    5 times bigger

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    Then the Whole Foods in JP. The Whoose Food people are going to go nuts.

    Not Whole Foods. Stop & Shop

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    Not Whole Foods.

    Stop & Shop and Shaws are going to go nuts.

    Seriously. I'm originally from upstate NY, and the big names here had better be ready for what's about to hit them.

    Just ask Kodak

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    I kid, I kid

    Nice to see the Roc - Boston gap bridged, they are like our Junior.

    I've been to a few NJ

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    I've been to a few NJ Wegmans.. they are pretty good supermarkets. Love the deli's in them. The one catch, they have less selection than regular supermarkets. Its almost like wholesale clubs, but not as extreme. For instance they'll have say, Vlasic pickles and the store brand pickles (just a random example, not sure if this really the case with pickles). No other brands will be carried.

    Either way, i'd like to see this in the 'burbs rather than Boston.

    Not true in Northboro

    The one catch, they have less selection than regular supermarkets.

    That may have been true in NJ, but one of the things they emphasized when opening the Northboro store was the number of items they carried compared to any other store. I don't remember the numbers, but it really was staggering. Of course, they can do that in Northboro because they have the square footage. That would be tough to pull off in the city.

    OK, found something here:

    NORTHBOROUGH - At 138,000 square feet, it is larger than two football fields and the biggest supermarket in New England. This is Wegmans, the grocery chain that aspires to change the food-shopping experience.

    Wegmans Food Markets yesterday offered a sneak preview of its Northborough store - the first in Massachusetts - which is scheduled to open Sunday. It features more than 70,000 items, including 700 varieties of fruits and vegetables, 600 types of beer, and 300 cheeses.

    Think of it as a big Roche Bros. - nice place to shop, good stuff, good people working there, prices nothing special.

    I don't get why you'd rather

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    I don't get why you'd rather see it in the burbs than in Boston. Is there a particular kind of grocery store that is right for Boston only? Makes no sense. It's a grocery store and good one at that. Something that downtown Boston desperately needs.

    Why not both?

    Either way, i'd like to see this in the 'burbs rather than Boston.

    Why not both? If it's good enough for Newton it should be good enough for Boston too.