retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post has a fascinating story about how Wegmans - a company usually begged to come to communities, with attendant positive publicity and long lines of customers - has riled up some residents of Brown Grove, Virginia, a historically Black community just north of Richmond.

The problem:  Wegmans wants to build a 1.1 million-square-foot, $175 million distribution center there.

Here's how the Post frames the story:

"Wegmans says it will add jobs and tax revenue to Hanover County; the folks gathered that day to protest believe the project could destroy Brown Grove. The activists note that the massive center would bring 24-hour floodlights and steady truck traffic to a site marked only by trees and swamps. The facility would sit on the unmarked graves of Brown Grove’s founders, they say, and it would disturb environmentally critical wetlands that help provide well water for many homes and serve as an ecosystem balance to nearby infrastructure like Interstate 95."

The story notes that while "Wegmans owns more than 100 supermarkets up and down the East Coast, this project would only be the company’s third distribution center."

You can read the piece here.