“It better than a Publix and Trader Joes combined. “ As a marketer and small business owner, for years I wanted to figure out the big mystery behind Wegmens Grocery store chain. I was in the Richmond (VA) area, visiting friends and I insisted this would be my only personal stop. Yes, that means sacrificing visiting my favorite department stores (that I can’t visit in my region) just to visit a grocery store chain.
What I discovered was well worth the hype. As you can imagine, being a busy mother of pre-school aged children, most of my alone time outside of work consists of being inside a grocery store. I am also a foodie.
Let’s back up a second. I first attended the Children’s Museum with my family and friends that just moved to Richmond area. As I was walked through the entrance my friends picked up the Wegmens magazine that was available at the Children’s Museum. As I later discovered, there is an area in the museum that recreates a grocery store for children and it is sponsored by Wegmens!
After we left the museum and I headed back to my hotel room I started looking through it and discovered recipes and articles related to the produce found there only. I already had a list of items I wanted to purchase before I got to the store. I’m not alone, my friends who moved to Richmond also do this practice. I finished viewing the magazine with a desire to eat more veggies and fruits based off of the articles and photography.
The first impression
What a huge store!
I walked into the Pub section of the store where it held it’s own private restarant and it was close to the hot food section. Hot food from all parts of the world where hot and fresh in front me. Plus pastries too!
What really impressed me was the sitting area and the specifically the childrens area. There was tiny tables just for them and a Disney Junior playing on the TV. The cashier was very nice to us and even gave my daughters stickers.
As I finished up my early lunch, I went with my friend throughout the store and discovered the aisles were big like Publix but had unique flavors of ordinary items such as Goldfish crackers. I picked up what I wanted from the Wegmen magazine which was the Jamaican Jerk Marinade (it was out, only mild flavor remained) and the Peruvian Marinate.
I noticed the prices where reasonable compared to what I purchase in my local grocery store. I didn’t have a chance to visit the produce area or frozen asile area because I was staying another night in a hotel. In case you were asking, I did see the train on the top of the store.
I would have marketers working at other grocery stores consider creating an environment or experience for families that are doing their grocery shopping. Can you recreate a Starbucks-like experience for a grocery store? Can you create a place where a person wants to visit with friends or a place where families can enjoy their foods outside of a cool restaurant?
Can you build hype through a publication? Excited to purchase a product in an unknown store and have that person go inside?