- Wegmans, a regional grocer with a cult-like following in New England and the mid-Atlantic, just opened its 101st store in Brooklyn, New York.
- More than 25,000 customers visited the new store on its opening day on Sunday, according to a representative from the grocer who confirmed that the location broke opening-day sales records for the chain.
- Many customers lined up outside in the rain as early as midnight on opening day to be among the first to enter the store.
- “The Brooklyn store opening was an incredibly exciting day for our family company,” a Wegmans representative said. “Despite heavy rainfall, hundreds of people lined up around the block before dawn yesterday.”
- The regional grocery chain has one of the most loyal followings in retail, and it even beat out Amazon and Costco as the most loved brand this year, according to the Harris Poll.
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Wegmans has finally come to New York City. And, people are ecstatic.
More than 25,000 people stopped by the 101st Wegmans store – located in Brooklyn, it’s the first in New York City – on its opening day on Sunday, according to a representative for the grocer. Customers lined up around the block of the store as early as midnight on opening day to nab a spot at the front of the line.
The Brooklyn store also broke opening-day sales records for the beloved regional grocer, a representative confirmed.
“Wegmans is a destination. It’s the place that we love,” said shopper Susan Myers, who came at midnight to be the first person in line for the Brooklyn Wegmans opening.
The regional grocer’s store openings have drawn large crowds in the past. Wegmans recently opened its 100th store in Raleigh, North Carolina, and broke records when more than 3,000 people waited in line on its opening day, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.
“The Brooklyn store opening was an incredibly exciting day for our family company,” a Wegmans representative said. “Despite heavy rainfall, hundreds of people lined up around the block before dawn yesterday.”
Here’s what the new Wegmans in Brooklyn, New York, looked like on opening day.
People flew and drove from near and far to be at the front of the line at the opening of the store at 7 a.m.
By 6:45 a.m., the line stretched around the block.
Despite the rain, Wegmans fanatics did not waver in their devotion.
The front of the line was filled with the most loyal customers. “We’ve been going to Wegmans for decades,” said Jessica Gonzalez, 36, who got in line at 4:30 a.m.
Inside, the floor was filled with employees who were gearing up for the opening, which was just minutes away.
Many employees from other Wegmans locations came to help out the Brooklyn Wegmans during its first few weeks. Their locations of origin were indicated by a ribbon on their name tags.
Finally, the time came for the doors to open to the public. Hordes of devoted Wegmans fans flooded the store to applause from the employees at the front.
Almost everyone entering the store was grinning from ear to ear.
Susan Myers was the first person in line at Wegmans at midnight. She also made sure that she was the first person to make a purchase at this new location.
Myers is a member of Women of Wegmans, a group of fans that has attended more than 10 Wegmans store openings and seeks to make the first purchase at each store.
“Some people go to the Super Bowl, some people go to Tour de France,” said Myers, holding her prized first receipt, which she got from her speedy purchase of a fruit bar. “I come to the Wegmans opening.”
Throughout the rest of the store, Wegmans lovers were easy to spot.
Sisters Marie Palmer (left) and Kathryn Cortez (right) grew up going to Wegmans together. Cortez, now married, flew in from Wisconsin to be with her sister for opening day. Both sisters wore “Wegmaniacs” T shirts for the occasion.
“This is about five years in the making,” said store manager Kevin Cuff, who is leading more than 500 employees at Wegmans Brooklyn.
“I always say our secret sauce is our people,” Cuff said when asked why Wegmans has such a cult following. “People can copy our buildings, can copy our products that we sell, but they can’t copy our people.”
The superior customer service is constantly cited by shoppers as one of the best aspects of Wegmans. And, every employee we saw looked ecstatic to be there.
Source: Business Insider
As the sun rose, the store began to get more crowded with visitors.
The sections that sold hot food and coffee were among the most crowded when we were there.
The store was beautifully stocked for the opening. We found a massive display of fresh fruit and vegetables.
And the classic $US0.49 Wegmans bananas were prominently displayed at the front of the store.
There were also tons of Wegmans-brand products on display, a customer favourite.
There were so many employees on hand for the opening that the lines didn’t seem to get too long when we were there.
By the end of the day, more than 25,000 people had stopped by the 101st Wegmans store. The store also broke company records for opening-day sales.
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