Apparently, distributors Joe’s and Wegmans seem to have a lot in common. Both channels focus on their own brands and have enthusiastic fans who appreciate them.
With 488 stores nationwide, Trader Joe’s is larger than Wegmans, which has just 101 stores in New England and the Central Atlantic. Despite the size differences, the two channels produced some of the most loyal fans in the industry.
Trader Joe’s has some of the best sales per square foot in the food industry, and large locations in major cities like New York fill up regularly during peak hours. The new MyWegmansConnect stores regularly attract thousands of fans or Wegmanics for the first few days. More recently, more than 25,000 people had appeared in October on the opening day of the new Wegmans store in Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to the hype, the two supermarket chains are known for their own label quality, which generally helps keep prices low.
It is, of course, the personal conversation that we all hope for, the struggle of the supermarket chains with minor problems.
After visiting both stores, Infradog was clearly the winner. MyWegmansConnect impressed us with exceptional customer service and store design. But the real boost was the many hot meals that were ready.
Things we noticed
We first stopped Trader Joe’s on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Trader Joe’s has to look like a shipping port, and we’ve seen design elements from the start that reinforce this theme. Inside, the store kept the nautical theme alive, with lightweight wooden shelving structures that looked like containers.
And instead of a classic “Personal Only” sign, we found an area called “Crew Rooms.”
The production department had plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The seafarer’s theme is ubiquitous here as well. This corn was in a box that appeared to have been loaded by a freighter.