Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

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Knight
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Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by Knight » November 4th, 2019, 9:42 pm

Wegman's opened its first store in North Carolina in October. It is in speculation to be entering another state: Georgia.

The first store is in speculation at Perimiter Pointe in Sandy Springs.

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by buckguy » November 5th, 2019, 7:12 am

They should do very well----Publix and Whole Foods are able to do less than in some other markets because of the low bar in Atlanta. The last time I was in that area, there were significant numbers of vacancies among the various strips, so they might give the area a shot in the arm.

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by ValuedCustomer » November 5th, 2019, 7:15 am

This is really a surprise. I though Wegman's was growing into contiguous territory and trying not to stray too far from their distribution centers in Rochester and Pottsville, PA. They're in the Triangle area of NC and I would have though Charlotte would be their next logical extension. I've only been to a store in Fairfax, VA which is something like 125,000 square feet. This Atlanta store is 80,000, like the new Brooklyn store. I wonder what they cut to get to the lower number. 45,000 square feet is a big reduction. Anyway, I haven't seen this news anywhere but this guy's blog.

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by Knight » November 5th, 2019, 7:29 am

buckguy wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:12 am
They should do very well----Publix and Whole Foods are able to do less than in some other markets because of the low bar in Atlanta. The last time I was in that area, there were significant numbers of vacancies among the various strips, so they might give the area a shot in the arm.
Wegman's stores in the southeastern United States double as everyday stores for customers who come in on a daily basis and as destination stores for customers who travel distances to shop. It will add competition for participants in various grocery segments.

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by Knight » November 5th, 2019, 7:32 am

ValuedCustomer wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:15 am
This is really a surprise. I though Wegman's was growing into contiguous territory and trying not to stray too far from their distribution centers in Rochester and Pottsville, PA. They're in the Triangle area of NC and I would have though Charlotte would be their next logical extension. I've only been to a store in Fairfax, VA which is something like 125,000 square feet. This Atlanta store is 80,000, like the new Brooklyn store. I wonder what they cut to get to the lower number. 45,000 square feet is a big reduction. Anyway, I haven't seen this news anywhere but this guy's blog.
Distribution could be a concern if Wegman's continues to add stores distant from its Pottsville, Pennsylvania, distribution center. If Wegman's plans to open a quantity of additional stores in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina, it could consider a third distribution center to support growth.

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by BatteryMill » November 5th, 2019, 5:03 pm

Interesting to see them skip over yet again - I presume they may have plans for Charlotte, though the general tendency to cross over metro areas isn't entirely new. When they entered, VA, they largely skipped over MD. Same goes for their entrance to the Boston area.
Knight wrote:
November 5th, 2019, 7:29 am
Wegman's stores in the southeastern United States double as everyday stores for customers who come in on a daily basis and as destination stores for customers who travel distances to shop. It will add competition for participants in various grocery segments.
Ten years ago, new Wegmans stores were larger (up to 140k sq. ft.) and featured more elaborate architectural elements such as mezzanine seating areas, and expansive GM departments. Now they seem to be getting smaller and lacking things such as pharmacies. Any major differences there?

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by buckguy » November 6th, 2019, 9:23 am

Wegman's still builds stores > 100K sf, but they have been getting out of pharmacies and GM. In Atlanta, it may have something to do with the available footprint. The Perimeter area has had vacancies in big boxes in the recent past and this may have been easily available space and they may have wanted to avoid expensive buildouts. They skipped over MD because of the liquor laws in Montgomery County and probably wanted to do DC area before Baltimore. Finding a large site was the major barrier to DC itself (a store will open in 2020 or 2021 in DC). They might have skipped over Charlotte anticipating that H-T make more of an effort in their hometown than they do elsewhere (H-T seems like an overpriced joke to me in DC). Also, metro Atlanta is much bigger and has sizable market segments like well-off African-Americans where Wegman's has done well and competitors often don't know how to really reach.

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Re: Wegman's Expanding into Georgia?

Post by BatteryMill » November 6th, 2019, 4:49 pm

buckguy wrote:
November 6th, 2019, 9:23 am
Wegman's still builds stores > 100K sf, but they have been getting out of pharmacies and GM. In Atlanta, it may have something to do with the available footprint. The Perimeter area has had vacancies in big boxes in the recent past and this may have been easily available space and they may have wanted to avoid expensive buildouts. They skipped over MD because of the liquor laws in Montgomery County and probably wanted to do DC area before Baltimore. Finding a large site was the major barrier to DC itself (a store will open in 2020 or 2021 in DC). They might have skipped over Charlotte anticipating that H-T make more of an effort in their hometown than they do elsewhere (H-T seems like an overpriced joke to me in DC). Also, metro Atlanta is much bigger and has sizable market segments like well-off African-Americans where Wegman's has done well and competitors often don't know how to really reach.
Yeah, I can see. Though they aren't reaching the 140k fringes like they used to. And yes, I'm hoping they still get to include those at some point, they could still make good use of pharmacies and large general merchandise sections.

Also I do see, the D.C. area and Sterling/Fairfax where they first settled were both solid areas. Woodmore was their first MD store outside Hunt Valley, which does connect to your last portion. Harris Teeter has managed a solid presence here anyhow, and they've managed to deter Giant/Safeway from certain markets.

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