An Unlikely Entertainment Destination: Why Wegmans is So Successful

November 5, 2021

Modeled after the open-air markets of Europe, a trip to Wegmans entails spacious aisles, flower shops, chic bakeries, and full-service dining. It’s an entertainment destination that happens to be a grocery store. It also happens to be a growing enterprise. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, the family-owned business operates 106 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. And a brand new second location is underway in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Expansive floor plans and unmatched amenities are just the tip of the iceberg in the success formula for Wegmans. There is much more to this grocer that we think is worth talking about:  

Keeping It in the Family

John and Walter Wegman ran a produce cart before opening the Rochester Fruit & Vegetable Company in 1916. It was Walter’s son Robert Wegman who founded and guided the grocery to what we know today. He took on the mantle of chairman until his death in 2006, when his son, Danny assumed the role. Now Walter’s great-granddaughters lead the charge for the grocery. Nicole Wegman serves as senior vice president of the Wegmans Brand and her sister Colleen is president and CEO. Keeping the family at the helm has led Wegmans to grow to 52,000 employees and annual sales of $10.8B in 2020.

A Huge Fanbase

Wegmaniacs. That’s what superfans of the grocer call themselves. With almost a spiritual connection to the grocery store, customers from all stages in life flock to Wegmans for a variety of reasons. Some are obsessed with the sushi made daily on-site. Others flock to the bakery to get the freshest cakes and cookies. And then there’s the music. The stores regularly host bands from jazz ensembles to classical quartets, often with cooking demonstrations or specialty tastings. The Rochester-based chain is more than a grocery store. It’s a community center, entertainment park, and cultural experience – all within minutes of shoppers’ homes. 

#1 Spot on People’s 100 Companies that Care

Securing a spot for the fifth year in a row on People’s 100 Companies that Care list, a roster that showcases companies that demonstrate concern, respect, and care for their employees, as well as their communities, Wegmans takes care to exhibit empathy as a valuable asset. “We have always believed that, if our people are valued and supported, they will give their best to our customers and to each other,” Wegmans CEO Colleen Wegman says. “I am grateful and proud of what they are able to accomplish every day.” Each employee at Wegmans has multitudes of opportunities to grow their careers through the Wegmans Scholarship Program and tuition assistance. Employees also benefit from robust benefits, including competitive wages, health coverage, and retirement savings plans. But the empathy factor extends beyond the store. Every Wegmans gets to give back to the community from offering seniors free rides not just to their store, but to the doctor, to donating more than 18 million pounds of unsold items to local food banks. 

Success Never Stops

Wegmans is dedicated to enriching the lives of employees, as well as enriching the lives of people within the many communities of its stores. Navigating the uncertain times of the last 18 months, Wegmans looks toward the future by continuing to empower employees to deliver exemplary customer service, be engaged brand ambassadors, and drive store execution.

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