(Apologies to the late Robert Ludlum if I’ve just hijacked the title of his next bestseller)
The new Northborough shopping plaza on Route 20 near the Route 9 interchange just endured another “Grand Opening”. Hot on the heels of the new BJs Wholesale Club’s relocation from Westborough, WooEast/MetroWest shoppers now have another choice for their food shopping. Wegmans, a grocery store with an almost cult-like following, just opened this past weekend. Local media regaled us with accounts of people travelling from all up & down the eastern seaboard to experience this new store. The traffic near the Route 20/9 interchange this past Sunday was crazy.
My family just paid a quick visit to Wegman’s this week after the initial frenzy was over.
We won’t be going back.
It’s not because the new Wegmans is located in an awful hilltop shopping plaza reminiscent of Mount Mall in Millbury. And it’s not because we wouldn’t have other business in that plaza anyway — the new BJs gas station has great prices, and we buy a few of our staples at BJs.
When we visit a grocery store for the first time, my family checks the prices on all of our household “staples” — the things we use regularly. Every family has their own list of must-haves, and yours may be very different from mine. But we found that none of our staples was cheaper at Wegmans. A few were roughly the same price we have been getting elsewhere, but most were a bit higher.
But for the people of WooEast/Metrowest who have been fleeced for years by the Big Four (Shaw’s, Price Chopper, Stop & Shop, Big Y), Wegmans will offer much better prices & a much better selection. The new Wegmans is in a great location to compete against those high-priced grocery chains. And its offerings will appeal to the well-heeled denizens of that region as much as to its price-conscious underbelly. If you like an enormous selection of yogurts, pre-cooked meals, gluten-free/carb-free/fad-of-the-moment foods, it’s all there, and at prices that beat most nearby grocery chains.
My family finds that its staples are cheaper at Market Basket & Price Rite, with occasional forays to BJs and Hannaford. Sorry, Wegmans, but you’re not going to make it onto our list of places to shop. We’re just not Wegmans’ demographic, I think.
But for the WooEast/Metrowest shopper, Wegmans is going to be a refreshing alternative — one even worthy of enduring another ugly hilltop plaza.
Good luck, Wegmans. I think you picked a good location, and it’s refreshing to see one more chain giving the Big Four price-gougers a black eye.