Wegmans could open first New England store at
by Deborah Alexander, Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle
May 18, 2008
ROCHESTER, NY -- Wegmans Food Markets Inc. could open its first store in New England after voters in Westwood, Mass., approved a beer and wine license for a proposed supermarket that is part of a $1.5 billion mixed-use development.
Westwood, 18 miles southwest of Boston, approved the liquor license for a supermarket in the development known as Westwood Station.
"That was a major step in the right direction," said Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natale, who added that other issues about the store were still being negotiated. "There is no signed deal yet."
Wegmans could be the anchor of Westwood Station, which would sit on 140 acres of a mostly vacant industrial park adjacent to the Route 128 Amtrak/MBTA rail station.
Wegmans operates 70 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia, focusing its expansion in recent years on the Middle Atlantic states.
"We are looking at other sites in the greater Boston area, but we are not at a point to discuss other locations," Natale said.
At 4.5 million square feet, Westwood Station would feature 1,000 residential units, more than 90 retail shops and restaurants, 10 office buildings, two seven-story hotels and more than 40 acres of landscaped public parks.
The area is an attractive demographic, said Bob Boehner, visiting professor of marketing in the Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Wegmans does site planning very well and finds attractive properties," he said. "I have no doubt it (the store) will be successful."
Boehner said Wegmans' growth strategy is careful and measured. The company knows how to duplicate its culture so that every store offers the same shopping experience, customer service and quality, he said.