retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Journal News reports that Wegmans announced plans for a new 125,000 square foot store that it will build in Harrison, New York, less than 30 miles north of midtown Manhattan and just three miles south of the Connecticut border, in the heart of suburban Westchester County.

The 92-store retailer said that it will build the unit on a 20-acre parcel located in the middle of a number of office parks. It will replace a three-building office complex that will have to be demolished to make room for the store.

Approvals still need to be obtained from local boards and regulators, and no timeline has yet been set for development.

The Journal News notes that in an interview last year, CEO Danny Wegman said that he wanted to open a store in Westchester: “We’ve been looking for over 20 years. Hopefully, someday, we’ll find one. We’d love to be there. We’ll get there. We’re pretty tenacious. That’s all I can say. Wish we had one there.”
KC's View:
This will almost certainly take a couple of years to come to fruition, but it has the potential for throwing a significant monkey wrench into the local competitive scene; Wegmans is very good at accomplishing that rare feat - combining a strong price/value image with a foodservice operation perceived as being far better than the average supermarket. Such a store cannot help but affect the likes of Stop & Shop and Fairway and ShopRite and Stew Leonard's - these companies may not have stores in the immediate vicinity, but Wegmans is well-established as a destination shop, and its stores tend to have a pretty broad reach.

Here's the one thing all these retailers have to do, right now - begin competing as if Wegmans were opening a store tomorrow. Figure out all its weaknesses and strengths, and start going after them now. I know this area well ... it is about 12 miles from where I grew up, and not much farther from where I live now. It'll be fun to watch how this develops.