More Wegmans speculation

wegmans.jpgUpdated Monday evening

Chris Churchill points to speculation by the Syracuse Post-Standard's Bob Niedt that a Wegmans store in the Albany area will be "likely announced and possibly under construction" by the fall of 2011. Niedt's reasoning is this: Wegmans is setting up in the Boston area, and as a result, its trucks will be coming through this area -- so it's likely they'll open stores here and in Western Mass, too.

A Capital Region Wegmans would send supermarket obsessives here into a tizzy. It seems like whenever we talk about local supermarkets on AOA, there's always someone who pops in with a "yeah, but it's not Wegmans" comment. The chain is often ranked highly. And more competition is rarely a bad thing for consumers.

But... we're still skeptical about this latest speculation.

Just last year, Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

"We see our growth in a defined crescent between Washington and Boston, extending from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland and up into Massachusetts ... We're looking at Connecticut."

Those areas all include large, affluent metros. Nothing against the Capital Region, but the pie here is smaller.

And, of course, if Wegmans came here it would have to slice up that pie in the backyard of Price Chopper, another family-owned chain. That brings up the "secret deal" -- both chains say they don't have an agreement to keep off each other's home turf, but who really knows (well, aside from the people on the inside).

That said, people seem to have flipped for Fresh Market. And there's the continuing clamor for Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. But is that enough for Wegmans to take a shot here?

Update: Said a Wegmans spokesperson to the Biz Review today: "We are not pursuing sites in Albany or the Capital District." [via @KatelynBuress]

Earlier on AOA: Supermarket Showdown III

photo: Flickr user christine592

Comments

meh. believe it when I see it. the old "Price Chopper/Wegmans" non-compete must be an urban legend that will not die--note the presence of both Wegmans and Price Chopper within a mile of each other in Cicero. But a Wegmans and Hannaford close to each other?? doesn't exist that I know of. just sayin'...

the assumption that since Wegmans trucks will drive right by our fair city they will build a Wegmans is kinda lame to say the least--their trucks are within an hour or two of Albany already--is it really that much farther to Albany? (It's not like Albany would just pop up on their GPS like this ghost city that just appeared--I think Danny Wegman has known where we are for quite some time!)

Interesting rumor. I doubt there is a formal agreement, but I'd guess there is an informal understanding to stay out of each other's turfs. However, like a game of Risk, Wegmans has taken over the territory around Price Chopper, taking away any much room for expansion outside of New England. At some point, but not now, Wegmans will have the resources to take on a war with Price Chopper and expand east of Syracuse. Price Chopper is nice, but everybody I know who has shopped both stores prefers Wegmans. If Wegmans moves east, Price Chopper could retailiate by setting up stores west of Syracuse, but I they would need to have incredible prices to draw market share from Wegmans, and Wegmans would match them until they won. Wegmans did the same thing in Western NY back in the 80's, when the competing stores were offering triple couponing. Wegmans expanded and the Star Market/Bells/Apple stores went out of business.

Don't toy with my emotions! I'd kill for a Weggies.

A Wegman's would be sweeeeeeet. However, I'm with Rebecca. First of all, I lived in Binghamton for several years, and there was a Wegman's amongst many Price Choppers, so I'm not sure I believe in the "turf" wars. And though I'll also stay on the safe side with "I'll believe it when I see it," maybe if they're really moving out to MA, there's a chance?? Here's to being cautiously optimistic!

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