My Little Corner of the Net

Why I Shop at Wegmans

In Rochester we basically have two options when it comes to grocery shopping: the Buffalo-based Tops and the locally based, family-owned Wegmans. While Wegmans is a market leader in innovative convenience and prepared food items, for regular grocery items, the stores are pretty much the same. Tops often has some good “stock-up” deals like 10 jars of spaghetti sauce for $10 and, until recently, most Wegman’s stores have seemed cleaner and more modern, but dollar for dollar, it doesn’t seem to make much difference where I shop. So why, when I drive past a Tops store twice almost every day, do I often go out of my way to shop at Wegmans?

Today I ran into the Pittsford Wegmans store for a few things. As I was coming out, I made eye contact with on of the stores “Helping Hands” (the employees who fetch carts and help people load their cars) who looked like he may have been one of the Lost Boys. He was bundled up in a rain coat as he returned a bunch of carts to the store.

This employee could have just turned around and went back outside and I would have thought nothing of it. The store was packed, the line of available carts was about half of what it should have been, and he probably had several more trips to make. But he didn’t. Instead he stopped and said “have a nice day, sir.” Then, as he noticed me taking my bags out of the cart (I only had two, so it was easier to leave the cart in the store and carry the bags to my car), he walked over to me and said “let me get that for you,” taking the cart from me. “Thank you,” I said. “You’re welcome. Have a nice day,” he replied as I walked outside.

That’s when it hit me. The whole reason I go to Wegmans is for the people. I have, on occasion, shopped at Tops without anyone in the store saying a word to me, not even the cashier ringing me up. At Wegmans everyone is friendly and will go out of their way to help you.

Wegmans has consistently made the top ten of Fortune‘s “Best 100 Companies to Work For” list for many years, but they don’t need a prestigious award to show that they care for and about their employees. It is evident in the way that every employee treats every customer.

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