The New York Times has a piece advancing Wegmans' first store opening in Manhattan, on Astor Place in Greenwich Village, an 87,500 square foot, two-level unit in a space formerly occupied by a Kmart and, before that, a John Wanamaker department store.
The opening is scheduled for October 18, and company chairman Danny Wegman tells the Times that "it took decades of evolving expertise to determine that the chain was ready for Manhattan."
"New York is a different place," he tells the Times.
- KC's View:
Wegmans, of course, already has experience in NYC - it has a store less than three miles away in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. (The distance is short, but it is across the East River, and might as well be in another country.) But it'll be interesting to see how Wegmans raises its game for a Greenwich Village clientele.
It is interesting that Wegmans is taking over a space formerly occupied by two retailers that found themselves out of fashion, out of relevance, and eventually out of business. (Okay, technically Kmart is not out of business. But it might as well be.)
The challenge for Wegmans - just as it is for every retailer - is to create a unique and differentiated offering that has both resonance and relevance to shoppers. Nowhere is that more challenging than in New York City. But if it can be achieved, nowhere will success be more fulfilling.