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Morning Poll: Why Wegman’s?

by ARLnow.com July 15, 2011 at 9:24 am 9,485 94 Comments

It seems that every time we run a story on a new retailer coming to Arlington, someone chimes in in the comments, saying that they’d much rather have a Wegman’s.

We asked folks on Twitter why the supermarket chain is so popular and heard a lot of different explanations. If you’re a Wegman’s fan, what are your top three reasons for wanting to shop there?


    While Wegman’s is nice it’s not the holy grail. What I love most about the store is the selection of prepared foods i.e. the bread counter, deli, meats and cheeses.

    Once you turn that corner and leave that part of the store; it’s just like any other supermarket and that’s not necessarily justification enough to demand a store for Arlington. Would be nice, it’s not a necessity.

    • tph

      I’m with you. I much prefer Whole Foods for quality produce and meats. Wegman’s is okay, but I’ve had a few mediocre meals from their hot tables. Never the case with Whole Foods.

      • Clarendon Resident

        Never had a mediocre meal from Whole Food’s hot table? You must be a fan of brown food.

    • SamsontheCat

      Whole Foods: BMW prices for a Toyota
      Wegman’s: Hyundai prices for a BMW
      Shoppers: Used VW Golf prices for a Used VW Golf

      Wegman’s just has great prices for quality stuff. I used to live near one and loved their semi-prepared foods. Not the stuff off the prepared bar, but the seasoned burgers and other meats. I found an old receipt from those days and was blown away by how little I spent on a shopping trip.

      • jan

        We’d all be blown away by any grocery receipt from even one year ago!

        • SamsontheCat

          Don’t tread on my fantasies. In my world, if I go back to Wegmans I’ll still be able to get Bananas for $.25 a lb.

          • CW

            I consistently shop the Fairfax Wegmans (I go at off hours…25 minute drive and no parking problems) and their prices have not changed much in my opinion in the past year or so…

        • rochacha

          Wegmans prices have stayed consistent- still the cheapest around! Definitely worth the trip!

  • WestoverAndOver

    Because it has all of the best elements of all its competitors, and more, all in one location, with decent prices. I like Wegmans, but I am not a fanboy who drives 20 miles out of the way to shop there. I know several people who do though.

    • Burger

      Correct. I am not going to drive out to Fairfax but if it was in Shirlington, I would be interested as an occassional trip.

      It has great selection of prepared foods and an awesome selection of beers and wines. (Psst, Safeway, any beer products made by InBev or SAB is not going to be a craft beer). It also has a ton of breads, meats and cheese.

    • More like 15 miles.

      However we often make plans to do other stuff out in the area when doing a Weggies vist.

      • WestoverAndOver

        This site is about Arlington. It is possible from certain points in Arlington for the drive to measure 20 miles using the most efficient route. It is possible that I know people who live in such areas who drive to the Wegmans in Fairfax. I respect others’ decision to drive miles out of their way to visit a grocery store. I have even done so myself, to visit that Wegmans, but not regularly. It is a great store.

  • RS

    I’ve shopped at the Wegman’s out in Fairfax or wherever that is (all those towns around Tysons looks the same to me) and it was a good experience. All of my family back home in NJ are Wegman’s supporters as well.

    I think it just comes down to selection. Their produce is fresh and the selection is good. They carry a wide range of different meats and cheeses. Since my wife is lactose intolerant, the large sheep and goat cheese selection is well appreciated in our family.

    Essentially, in my mind, they fill the same niche as Whole Foods without deserving the moniker, “Whole Paycheck.” They also carry major brand regular groceries at reasonable prices making a better alternative for doing your “whole shopping.”

    I’d be happy if they opened one up near my place…but, at the end of the day, I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to shop there if it was across town. Teeter may be overpriced in some areas and the produce may be dreadful at times, but they serve the same purpose.

  • Wegmans

    I am the worlds greatest grocery store. My prices pone all other stores, hands down, and my selection is second to none.

    • The Dope of South Arlington

      What does “pone” mean?

      • Thes

        I think Wegmans meant to type pwn.

        • samsonite

          Ironic – a misspelled misspelling.

        • SomeGuy

          I read it as Thes did. Which isn’t quite fitting since “pwn” is primarily used in technology and videogaming settings. Unless, of course, Wegmans intends to compromise the technology infrastructure of its rivals.

          • Ugh

            Whoever made up “pwn” should be repeatedly punched in the face.

  • KP

    I hate hate hate grocery shopping but I love walking around a Wegmans. It’s just a fun store and I enjoy being there. It’s great when you can turn a chore into something fun. I can’t put my finger on it, maybe it’s the staff, perhaps it’s the atmosphere combined with a great selection and prices that aren’t crazy? I don’t know. But let me repeat, I hate grocery shopping. Going to Wegmans doesn’t feel like grocery shopping to me as bizzare as that sounds.

    • TC

      …funny I think the same thing… can never put my finger on it when I’m shopping there… but it’s like night and day shopping there (which is only a mile from my house) vs the Safeway a block away…

    • BoredHouseWife

      it’s the kitchen gadgets.

    • jan

      I also hate grocery shopping. Wegmans, tho’ great, is just too exhausting: too many choices and too big.

      I’ll take Whole Foods. I can get in and out quickly.

  • Steve

    Simply it sthe large selection.. They have more selections of just bottle unsweetened tea than all the asian markets combined, even store brand as well…… But the place isn’t cheap, nothing is on sale there. I would love for one to be here though, but it would probably be tiny and thus suck.

  • Erin

    I love Wegmans and I am so jealous of people who live near one. I live in Arlington, and will drive to the Wegmans in Woodbridge if I am going full out grocery shopping, not just picking up a few things. Although.. the new Giant on CP is quite impressive (for now). The prices, selection and quality of all of their food is amazing, and the people that work there are so friendly, and all seem to enjoy their jobs. For those of you who think it’s expensive, it was actually ranked the 2nd least expensive grocery store in VA, the cheapest being Bottom Dollar. So.. it’s less than Giant, Safeway, Teeter etc, and the quality of the food you are getting is so much better!
    I am one of those that actually enjoys grocery shopping, and I love going and walking around Wegmans.. if there was one in Arlington, I would be in trouble..

    • Whole Safeway Teeter

      I live in Arlington, and will drive to the Wegmans in Woodbridge if I am going full out grocery shopping

      Seriously? Wow.

      • Michael

        Same here. Sometimes a trip outside the beltway does good for the soul. 🙂

      • Erin

        Yeah, seriously. Better selection, lower prices, cleaner store, better customer service, fewer brown flip flops… it’s kind of a no brainer really. It takes about 25-30 minutes on a Saturday AM to get to the Wegmans in Woodbridge. It can take 15 minutes to get to the Teeter on Glebe, and another 10 minutes to avoid all of the potential accidents in the tiny, cluttered parking lot.

        • CrystalMikey

          Which one…there are 2 on Glebe?

      • PikerShorts

        The one thing not horrible thing about driving out to Ashburn for work everyday is the Wegman’s across the street.

        There are things that I can only get there and the Wegman’s store brand I often find to be just as good if not better than the name brands.

        Plus their 14″ subs are totally worth the $8 and PWN Subway.

        • Josh S

          I don’t think it works quite as well in all caps. I’ve never seen it like that. The “P” looks less like an “O” than “p” does an “o”.

  • new york

    Its based out of my home city Rochester New York. I’veBeen shopping there all my life so it would be great to have on inside the beltway.

  • steve85

    Used to visit Rochester, NY a lot. Enjoyed shopping there and will look forward to enjoying it here as well. Great selection and good quality of food.

  • WNYRepresent

    In addition to the quality of the store, it’s consistently ranked as one of the best corporations to work for and that is apparent when interacting with employees who are happy to be working there.

    • Tabby


      If I worked at Giant, I’d cut myself because of the music they play, alone.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Second the Ding, Ding, Ding! Giant has a lot of things that I personally like, but the music on their PA system……ugh! Harris Teeter isn’t any better with their music. At least until the early to mid 70s, I don’t recall any of the grocery stores playing music. Watch out for the Giant in McLean on Chain Bridge Road, they have the loudest PA for their ringing phones and the world’s loudest announcers!

        • samsonite

          Third Ding!

          Attention, grocery and other stores: the music matters. If it sucks, it will annoy me right out of the store.

          • BallstonNOTBoston

            Kinda off topic, but speaking of annoying music has anyone noticed the godawful music selection played at restaurant 3 in Clarendon?

            Good lord – I’ve sat down and walked out twice at that place. 1 man can only take so much Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone”…

          • Tabby

            I like the Brown Bag downtown for lunch, but their music makes for poor digestion. Really intense old-time R&B–not good stuff!

          • steve85

            Who is Kenny Logn?????

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Exactly! About the twentieth moldy oldy from the 60s/70s, I’m ready to find the plug for their music and pull it out. Let these over 50 ears have some peace while I get my groceries, already!

          • MTV Jamz

            Well they need to play some better music like hip hop or pop music.

          • Josh S

            Pssstt!!! What’s up with steve85????

        • Josh S

          The Safeway at Lee Harrison also deserves a nomination in the “you’ve got to be kidding!?! Shut the eff up!!” PA announcements category.

      • Modwop

        Nothing beats the Giant at Virginia Square (aka “The Convenience Store Giant). Their piped in music is some sort of 40s/50s standards channel and it’s highly amusing to watch the faces of the bewildered shoppers when Perry Como or Bing Crosby start crooning over the loudspeakers.

    • Erin

      Exactly! When you ask someone working there where an item is, they don’t just give you a blank stare and then point off in the distance, mumbling something under their breath. They will actually walk you to where the item is, even if it’s on the other side of the store. I have had that happen on multiple occasions, and it’s always been with a friendly smile. Contrast that with the working conditions at Wal-Mart, and it’s just another reason that Wegman’s should go in that spot instead of Wally World.

      • NoVapologist

        I have found that the some Giant locations have great employees and some have horrible. There used to be a small and horrible Giant at the Yorktown Center in Fairfax. We referred to it as the Shortbus Giant because every last employee seemed to have some sort of developmental disability. I think Giant sends its worst employees to its worst stores. I have found the employees at the McLean Giant to be much better than average.

        But yeah on the Wegmans thing. I know a couple of people who work there and they adore the company.

        • Erin

          I would work there if it was closer!

  • C

    Their house brand selections are quite good and very reasonably priced.

  • helpme

    I need a second job. What’s their pay

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    How about a Bloom?

    • No!!

      I still have nightmares about their creepy animated manga TV commercial with the freaky chanting bunnies. “Bloom bloom bloom bloom”–AAGGHH!!!!!

  • Bluemontsince1961

    I’d be willing to try a Wegmans if they were closer to Arlington. Giant and Harris Teeter for me have varying positives and negatives but I can tolerate them (most of the time). Safeway?!?!? Don’t even go there! Trader Joes has some good things, but is more limited in selection, and Whole Foods is for me, too overpriced despite having some things I like (forget the one in Clarendon, I went there one time and vowed after the experience in the parking lot that I’d have my toenails removed with pliers first). I’d only go to the Wegmans in Fairfax if I worked near it and could go by on my lunch hour or right after work. If Wegmans had a store in McLean, Falls Church or Arlington, I’d be glad to try them; from a number of comments on this thread, Wegmans sounds like it has some great advantages.

  • vogy

    -great prepared food section
    -amazing sub shop
    -friendly employees
    -great beer selection

  • rossl

    wegman’s is hands down the best – best selection, quality, and prices. and it reminds me of publix!

    • Ali

      I’d kill for Wegmans or Publix around here.

    • FLexpat

      Nothing but Publix love. Where shopping is a pleasure!

  • Larchmont

    So most votes are for their restaurant. If only they’d put in flat panel tv’s for sports games…. Go USA!

  • Claire N. Don

    What are Wegman’s cupcakes like?

    • beyonce

      Nobody wants cupcakes. Its starting to get old.

      • knowles

        Not in Arlington. A new cupcake place opens every week.

        • Caliente Senorita

          That’s y Arlington is wack…. Miami the best

          • Mr. 305


  • Andy

    I like it because you can get anything there you can get at Whole Foods, but you can also get Diet Coke and other stuff that WF doesn’t think I should buy. And at least compared with the Clarendon WF, there is no parking drama with lot attendants screaming at me telling me where to park. If it were closer to where I lived, I’d never shop anywhere else.

    • CW

      Agreed. Wegmans basically has a whole foods inside of it anyhow. There is nothing you can get at WF that you can’t get twice as much of for cheaper at wegmans, and there’s a lot you can get at wegmans that WF won’t touch.

      Most grocery stores try to be either high-volume and low operational cost (e.g. Giant) or high-margin and priced to suit (whole foods). Wegmans, simply put, wins because they reconcile those business models. They beat everyone in town on milk, sugar, flour, etc. prices and then you walk two aisles over and they have black truffles under lock and key.

      • Josh S

        +1 This is it.

  • Mkt Common

    Screw Wegman’s mania. I’m happy a Fresh Market is opening in Vienna!

    • BrownFlipFlops

      Yeah – and now that they have worked with their landlord, and made nice with Norm’s, I won’t have to boycott them.

  • Love Wegmans

    I used to work in Ashburn so I was lucky to be able to go to the Sterling store every day for either lunch or to bring home food for dinner. Wow, I forgot how much I loved working 30 miles away.

    What I always tell people is that it’s like Whole Foods if Whole Foods had really high quality Seafood, Meats, Desserts, Bread, Produce, and Wine, and also sold Coke. Unfortunately Whole Foods loses on every one of those categories.

    The very best thing is that you can choose your level of prepared food. They have hot food to eat in the store, prepared food like Whole Foods that you heat up in the microwave, and prepared uncooked entrees that are ready to put in the oven. You can also talk to any of the chefs working on the floor to get suggestions for the best way to make things.

  • Mick Way

    Once you shop at a Wegmans you’ll know.

    BTW it’s Wegmans not Wegman’s. Not sure why since the family that owns it is Wegman.

    • rochacha

      They eliminated the apostrophe from the signs to save millions- it is on the website.

      • Banksy

        Hah! Only a native would know that! And have your handle (though I’ve always seen it as “Ra-cha-cha”)

        Wegmans rules!

  • Mindless Lib Sheep

    I will never shop at a Wegmans because they are primarily a non-union shop. How dare they continually be ranked among the top companies to work for in the country and treat their employees remarkably well compared to their competitors without having a union workforce. How dare they continually out perform their primarily union competitors with friendly service and lower prices in most areas they open a shop. It is unfathomable and I will not accept this in Arlington.

    • Maria

      It might shock you to know that not all liberals like unions. We also aren’t all mindless sheep, though coming from, presumably, a conservative, that doesn’t mean much…

      (see? Silly, baseless insults can go both ways)

    • CW

      Nice try there, but fail.

      There’s a difference between treating your employees so well that they don’t even think of bursting their awesome bubble by unionizing and treating your employees like slaces and threatening them every time they try to organize.

  • Dave

    Wegmans will beat just about anyone else on price except Costco, and the quality will be better anyway. Their customer service is the best in the business, largely because they focus on making their employees happy (that’s why they’ve been on Forbes’ list of best companies to work for forever – #3 this year). Those two reasons alone are why I’ll drive out to Wegmans. I’d rather drive 20 minutes for a great shopping experience than stand in line at Giant for 20 minutes because they couldn’t care less that there aren’t enough registers open.

  • Charlie

    – Prepared foods
    – Selection in that you can find five varieties of an item (notice cvs sells only one size and type of transparent tape)
    – staff are really nice (do giant and safe way do anti-nice training)
    – quality of goods. I can buy a head of lettuce and it won’t go bad in the car while I drive home (where do giant and safe way get the sh*t they call fresh produce?)
    – they give you as many plastic bags as you can eat
    – depth and breadth of wine and beer AND those pieces are almost buy three get the fourth free compared to Arlington
    – bakery
    – two kosher sections
    – fish and a fish section that doesn’t smell like low tide
    – parking out the wazoo
    – bulk jelly beans in 25 different flavors
    – nothing is EVER out of stock.
    – most prices are 25% less than here …

    Get the idea? I have an EZPASS just for my trip to wegmans

  • toorad

    there is no apostrophe in wegmans. anyway yes it is the gold standard of the full service grocery store. and it is family owned and operated. they try to put their employees first, and they can do that because they are not some lifeless public company like whole foods. the employees try their best to be helpful, the stores are always immacuate, and ABOVE ALL they actually open ALL the cash registers in the store to get you out of there quick. i have not once seen a giant or a safeway with all of its registers opened.

  • SamsontheCat

    Wegmans has perfected a technology that puts the exact items every customer wants on its shelves. Each aisle is filled with different things depending on the person. For me Aisle 4 is filled with a selection of artisanal cheeses, for you it’s rows of every pasta sauce known to man.

    It’s some sort of futuristic/Willy Wonka/Harry Potter magic. That’s the only way I can explain how everyone always finds the exact thing they want in a space the size of a Safeway.

  • G Clifford Prout

    This sums it all up.

    “Employees first, customers second”

    This is Wegmans’ motto. It permeates everything they do. It demonstrates they understand the impact that satisfied and performing employees have on customer satisfaction, results and reputation. They promise employees and customers: “Every Day You Get Our Best;” and they mean it.

    I think Giant’s motto is something like, “Me First, the Union second, my cigarette break third, customers fourth.

    • samsonite

      So putting employees first is putting customers first?

      • G Clifford Prout

        And who said you weren’t a bright boy?

    • charlie

      i was once at Wegmans between some sort economic crush — so they had more registers open than customers (has that EVER happened at Giant or Safeway???)…
      So this one cashier comes out from behind his register and goes “Sir, are you ready to check out. I’d be happy to check out your items for you.”
      Ammonia salts were almost needed.

  • Lord Voldemort

    In between trying to kill Harry Potter and seeking the Deathly Hallows, the Dark Lord loves shopping for produce at Wegmans.

  • Lhd

    Way better selectio, way fresher produce, and way lower prices than Safeway or Giant.

  • MC

    Wegman’s is overrated, in my view. It’s better than Safeway or Giant, but too big, too uninteresting. Some of their prepared food is not good at all. One can save a bit on some items, but need to deal with a parking lot the size the Pentagon.

  • novaqt

    I love Wegmans and go to the Fairfax store approx. once a month. I keep telling Wegmans management they really need to put a store in Arlington, Va. They just told me last week that they have been trying, but Arlington will not give them the concession they need. They carry a lot more Bolthouse juices than Harris Teeter and they carry a brand of eggs that I like (not their house brand). I love the tea section in Fairfax store and all the kitchen gadgets, pottery, cookware. They have All Clad cheaper than anywhere I can find. I also love that I can sit and order a light meal and a glass of wine after shopping. My order of preference in grocery shopping is Wegmans, Trader Joes, Harris Teeters and then Costco and BJ’s for party foods. Arlington could earn a lot of revenue from having a Wegmans here. I’m sure Arlington could find a good site for them close to Shirlington along South Four Mile Run or some of those dumpy shopping centers along Glebe Road. I do most of my grocery shopping at Harris Teeters and trek to Wegman once a month.

    • Mike

      ARLINGTON COUNTY— wake up??? Give Wegmans the concessions they need!

  • Steve

    We have a lot of Wegmans up here in the Great Lakes region. TOP quality store…sort of like Giant before foreiners bought it and ruined it. Excellent staff and consistently voted one of the top places to work in the US….and the stores are SPOTLESS! Prices a bit higher but you get what you pay for!

  • Curioser and Curioser

    Approx 40 flavors of Jelly Belly’s in the bulk candy aisle.

    Vacuum packed beef tenderloin for less than $12./pound that tastes as good as or better than the beef WF sells for $28 or $30 a pound

    Ready to grill vacuum packed chicken breast- pick your marinade– use it now or freeze it for less than $5 pound

    Milk for $2.99/gallon– not $4.29 like SafeGiTeet

    World class bakery- amazing breads and sweets

    Every possible item you could want from high end to Wegmans brand (which are great).

    I go out there about once every other month, and blow about $400 for a family of four, and then only have to spend $40-50 a week buying essentials at SafeGiTeet or Whole Paycheck.

    I’ve been begging them to come to Arlington for years (or at least inside beltway). I have numerous co-workers who were deny-ers, saying a grocery store couldn’t possibly be worth a 20-30 minute trip. Those who have tried it, agree universally– except for the type of people who are not good in large busy places.



  • doug

    There are no letters in Arlington approaching the quality and class of letters in ALL CAPS.

  • Weggies

    The best thing About Wegmans is the fact that they have an assload of checkout lines and they overstaff them with overly qualified people. I can spend 5 minutes shopping in a Safeway and it takes 20 minutes to check out. At Wegmans I get my crap and get the hell out of there.

    • The Wegenator

      Damn right. Safeway takes soooo long to check out. Wegmans is the best simply because their hot/cold bars and sandwich kick ass.


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