On the dark and rainy morning of October 27, shoppers still lined up to experience the first Wegmans in New York City and discovered a food retail experience quite different from others found in the Big Apple.
The store, located in Brooklyn, emphasized those elements that differentiate the Wegmans proposition to shoppers, elaborate self- and full service-perishables as well as prepared food operations. The store, at 74,000 square feet is about half the size of a typical Wegmans, including the 130,000 square foot Woodbridge, NJ, company location closest to New York.
However, Wegmans has previous experience with smaller formats, including a slightly larger location in central Rochester, NY, and an approximately same-sized store in Chestnut Hill, MA, just outside Boston. However, the New York store, part of the general Brooklyn Navy Yard redevelopment and the Admiral’s Row section redevelopment, is the first the company has located in the thick of a big city. Wegmans said it also plans for its first Washington, DC, location, expected to open at around 80,000 square feet in the northwest quadrant of the city, although the company hasn’t yet committed to an opening date.
To scale down to the smaller formats and retain the differentiating factors, Wegmans significantly edits the grocery and non-food portions of the store, including housewares. Still, the Brooklyn Wegmans provides distinct food-oriented housewares presentations including in food storage and cookware. Upon opening, the store offered branded and licensed merchandise from Cuisinart, CraftKitchen, Lodge, Pyrex and Sunbeam, among others, as well as private label. It even included co-branded products, for example, a Wegmans/Contigo hydration bottle.