Supermarket Executive Robert Weis Passes

Longtime supermarket executive Robert Weis, former chairman of Weis Markets Inc., passed away, Monday, October 19. He was 96.

Weis Markets operates 163 supermarket stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia. In 2014, the company said it generated $2.8 billion in revenues.

A lifelong resident of Sunbury, PA, Weis was born on June 10, 1919, in the town where his father and his uncle, Sigmund, opened their first store, known as Weis Pure Foods, in 1912. Early in his life, Robert Weis worked in his family’s stores, operating the cash register in his younger years and later bagging produce and delivering groceries to customers.

Early in his career, Weis worked in various positions with the company, including operations, distribution, marketing, procurement, human resources, real estate and store construction. Ultimately, he would oversee the company’s finances, real estate and store construction.

In 1965, Weis Markets became a publicly traded company and is now listed on the New York stock exchange. In the subsequent decades, Weis helped oversee Weis Markets’ growth and expansion into six states. In 1995, he became chairman of Weis Markets, Inc. and in 2001 became the company’s largest shareholder.

Weis is survived by his wife, Patricia; son Jonathan Weis, who serves as Weis Markets’ chairman, president and CEO; daughters Colleen Ross Weis and Jennifer Weis Monsky; nine grandchildren; and a sister, Ellen Wasserman.