retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Triangle Business Journal reports that Wegmans has confirmed plans to build a story in Cary, North Carolina, and has signed a letter of intent with a real estate development company there. The store would represent a significant geographic push for Wegmans; its closest store right now is in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 230 miles north of Cary.

The move would plunge Wegmans into a market where there already is some significant competition, with retailers that include Kroger, Kroger-owned Harris Teeter, Publix, Aldi, Food Lion, Lowes, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Earth Fare, many of which also have announced plans for new stores in the area. Walmart and Target also have multiple stores there.

Wegmans, which currently has 88 stores, has a 2016 schedule includes three new Virginia stores - one in Charlottesville and two in Richmond. While Wegmans won't confirm it, there reportedly are plans for additional North Carolina stores, possibly in the Raleigh-Durham area.
KC's View:
It is an interesting choice by Wegmans, which continues to surprise me by not looking at Connecticut and the suburbs of New York City as a potential growth market. It would seem to fit more into its existing geographic footprint, but perhaps the lack of appropriate real estate and high taxes are keeping it away.

The Tax Foundation says that New Jersey is the worst state in the nation in terms of pro-business climate (something that Gov. Chris Christie doesn't talk much about on the presidential campaign hustings), New York is second worst, and Connecticut is ranked # 44 (something that Gov. Dannel Malloy would prefer not to talk about). North Carolina, on the other hand, is # 15 ... and so it probably looks a lot more attractive.