This regional grocery chain just beat out Trader Joe’s to be named best in America


wegmans salad barJacquelyn Martin/Associated
Press

A regional grocery chain that most Americans have never visited
was just named the best in the US.

Wegmans ranks as Americans’
favorite grocery chain, according to Market Force Information’s
annual survey of the industry, which was released on
Tuesday.

This is the second year in a row
that Wegmans has earned the top spot — although this year, it was
forced to share the crown with Publix, a Southeastern
supermarket chain. 

With a score of 77% satisfaction,
Wegmans and Publix beat out No. 2 Tracer Joe’s and No. 3
H-E-B. 


WegmansWegmans

Wegmans began as the Rochester
Fruit & Vegetable Company in 1916, and is still
headquartered in Rochester, New York.

The chain was founded by brothers
Walter and John Wegman and remains family-owned, with Danny
Wegman serving as CEO and his daughter, Colleen Wegman, serving
as president.


wegmans storeJacquelyn Martin/Associated
Press

Wegmans stores are larger than
the average grocery store, emphasizing variety and fresh
products. The company reports that locations stock

50,000 to 70,000 products in
its largest stores. The average supermarket
stocks slightly more than 40,000
products, according to the 

Food Marketing Institute.


WegmansFoursquare

Wegmans stores generally range
from 75,000 to 140,000 square feet.

The stores also have to be large
enough to fit various extras that are foreign to many
supermarkets.


wegmans bento box
@Wegmans
on Twitter


Many locations have cafes,
pizzerias, sushi bars, and buffets, plus seating areas for 100 to
300 people where customers can eat their food.


wegmans beer locker
lirena/Flickr

The chain is also known for its
extensive beer section, with a


large selection of craft
brews.


Some locations
even have walk-in beer lockers.

Many customers love Wegmans
because of the dedicated customer service.


Wegmans
Wegmans
employees.

Glassdoor/Wegmans

Wegmans serves as a superior
employer in the grocery industry. The company offers healthcare
coverage for workers as well as college scholarships, paying
around $4.5 million in tuition assistance to employees each
year.


wegmans grocery store
@Wegmans on
Twitter


All of these factors combine to
create an army of Wegmans fans, responsible for the grocery
chain’s top ranking. In 2015,


the company reported that 7,300
customers


contacted
Wegmans to report how much they enjoyed their shopping experience
or the way employees treated them.

“The New York-based chain is
expanding steadily and, with a focus on employee training to
ensure customers have a great experience, creating superfans
eager for a new location to open near their home,” Market Force
reported. 

Sunday trips to weggys! #wegmans #wegmanssub #buffalo #buffalove #buffalofoodie #buffaloeats #getinmybelly #sunday #sundayfunday 🍴

A photo posted by Buffalo Foodie (@buffalovefoodie) on Apr 10, 2016 at 11:23am PDT on

Wegmans is currently focused on
expanding, with planned openings in

New Jersey and
Massachusetts

 later
this year. According to Wegmans,

more than 4,000 people contacted the company
asking for a store in their community in 2015.


WegmansFoursquare

The company’s efforts are paying
off.

Wegmans reported annual sales of
$7.9 billion in 2015. That’s not as much as Trader Joe’s, where
annual sales reached an


estimated $11.3 billion,
 

according to Packaged Facts. But it’s
pretty impressive when comparing the number of locations: Trader
Joe’s has 


more than 400 stores

, while Wegmans has just 92.

Of course, the Market
Force survey
 is just one measure of success. Wegmans’
appeal is, to some degree, based on its premium exclusivity
— which can result in higher prices. But Trader Joe’s has many
loyal customers of its own because of its ability to keep prices
extremely low by
focusing on its in-house brand
 instead of offering
Wegmans’ wider variety.

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