Sunday, March 19, 2006
- Marketplace for the 'burbs
New supermarkets called "a formidable presence" among existing food retailers
Wegmans Food Markets Inc., a family-owned supermarket powerhouse as well-known for its cooking as for its groceries, typically opens just two or three stores a year.
This year, all three openings are in the Philadelphia region - in Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill and Warrington. Supermarket experts expect a huge impact, especially in South Jersey.
"It'll certainly upset the market," said Mona Doyle, owner of the Consumer Network Inc., a Philadelphia research firm. "They will have to cut into someone's business," she said.
Wegmans, based in Rochester, N.Y., and still owned by the founding family, is among the rare retailers of any kind that can create a buzz in anticipation of their arrival.
The company's offerings of prepared foods - coupled with more than 200 seats for people to sit and eat in the Market Cafe - could take a substantial chunk of business from area restaurants, experts said.
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