Sunday, March 09, 2014 8:43 PM
A panoramic view of the Wegmans in Germantown from the second floor entry way. Photo by Jacqui South.
Published on: Thursday, September 19, 2013
By Holden Wilen
GERMANTOWN – The popular Wegmans chain opened up a supermarket in Germantown Sunday, providing Montgomery County residents with a new and different grocery shopping option.
Located in the new Seneca Meadows Plaza, the store is the company’s 7th in Maryland, and first in Montgomery County. While shoppers already have several options to choose from when they go grocery shopping, Jo Natale, spokesperson for Wegmans, said the company is successful because of its emphasis on providing quality products at a low price and putting a stress on good customer service.
“We virtually compete with Wal-Mart and every other retailer you can think of that sells food in every other market we have stores. That is just the nature of the business we are in,” Natale said. “It is a very competitive nature that we are in and we know that. Our customers look for great customer service, great quality and great selection, but they also want low prices. We are very mindful of that and we keep our prices low. We check prices every week to be sure that what we are saying is true that we have low prices.”
Montgomery County became an ideal location for a store because of the dense population, Natale said, and because there was ample space for a store in a convenient location just off of I-270.
The store sells more than 70,000 products, and the prices are low. At the Germantown store, a shopper can buy a gallon of milk for $2.99, which is about 46 cents less than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What sets Wegmans apart, however, is the vast size of the store, Natale said. The store is 123,000 square feet, and is separated into two different sections. When a shopper first walks in, they enter the produce section, where the store sells fruits and vegetables grown locally. Then, half the store is a traditional supermarket, while the other half is a market café featuring various dining options for people of all different tastes. The market café has many different stations and food bars, including Asian, Indian, Kosher, Mediterranean, Italian and many more.
“People don’t always know that Wegmans features an extensive array of international foods,” Store Manager Phil Qauttrini said. “You can expect ingredients and prepared foods here that reflect the many cultures represented by Montgomery County.”
The café seats more than 200 people, including indoor and outdoor seating, Natale said. There is also free wifi throughout the store.
Each store hires more than 500 people, and according to Quattrini, employees at the Germantown store have been training for nearly nine months. “We’re making sure we all have the tools required to play at the top of the game,” he said.
The people are what really set Wegmans apart from other places, Natale said.
“The philosophy of the Wegman family has always been that to be a good place to shop we must first be a great place to work,” Natale said. “The path to great customer service is treating employees well.”
Posted By: Dexter Morgan On: 9/20/2013
Title: Went shopping there.
Shopping on the grand opening and was unable to get the feel of the full size.
I knew it was big but so many people there made it feel small. Amazingly the parking was not a problem.