The West Coast has its vaunted In-N-Out Burger, but the Northeast is home to its own cult following, albeit a slightly nerdier one than a burger joint: It is Wegmans, an 86-store supermarket chain that inspires no small amount of fervor in its produce aisles. "Is it really this grocery oasis in what increasingly feels like a desert of mediocre supermarket options?" asks writes Roberto Ferdman in the Washington Post. He took a look around, and concludes that, yup, "I am now convinced." The reasons why:
- Size matters: "Inside each Wegmans is the equivalent of eight to 10 other supermarkets," says an industry expert. "The produce department by itself in Wegmans stores is twice as big as the total supermarket store volume of its average competitors."
- So does volume: The average US grocery store turns over inventory once every three weeks or so, Ferdman writes. Wegmans does it about every three and a half days. The result isn't just good for the company bottom line: "That's why their produce is almost always fresher than their competition's," says the industry expert.
- Wegmans can play with the big boys: Its produce can go head to head with Whole Foods, its value with Trader Joes, and its sheer size with Walmart, writes Ferdman.
- It inspires industry insiders to say things like this: "You can't talk about Wegmans without talking about its emphasis on the experience, on the theatricality of going to the grocery store." "The first thing you need to know about Wegmans is it's as special as people say it is."
Click for Ferdman's full piece
. (Wegmans actually doesn't appear on this new list of America's top 10 grocery stores