Wegmans Comes to King of Prussia

May 30, 2012 | by Brooke Willmes Wegmans Comes to King of Prussia

Where I’m from, Wegmans isn’t a high end grocery store.  It’s just our grocery store.  In Rochester, NY, where Danny Wegman started his first store, excellent customer service, innovation and quality are standard in each and every Wegmans.

Fast forward to 2003 when I left Upstate New York and moved to Philadelphia.  I certainly didn’t miss the weather, the high taxes or the word pop to describe soda…but I missed my beloved Wegmans.  What a shock when I entered my first Philadelphia grocery store: the Shop-Rite in Roxborough.  I stood patiently, waiting for my groceries to be bagged…and I realized the end I’d have to do it.  Yikes…most of my friends growing up fought for jobs at Wegmans and when they got them, they’d compete in the fastest bagging contest.

Anyway, it was quite a culture shock.  Quite a far cry from my days in law school in Buffalo where every Wednesday, I’d go grocery shopping at Wegmans, get sushi before I shopped and enjoy it in the market cafe while the piano man played.  Grocery shopping was drudgery here in Philadelphia…and prices were higher!

Suddenly, life here in Philadelphia seemed perfect when Wegmans entered the Philadelphia market a handful of years ago.  I drove through New Jersey’s jughandles and planned for lost time (time when I’m lost whenever I venture into NJ) to get to the grand opening of the Marlton Wegmans.  At the time I was living inFishtown and when the Cherry Hill Wegmans opened, it became my go-to regular grocery store.

Just last year, I sold my house and moved to West Germantown, an area that is pretty grossly underserved by grocery stores.  But who really cares about grocery stores…I care about Wegmans and Wegmans only.

I’ve gone through the stores in Malvern, Collegeville and Jenkintown…and Cherry Hill is still the quickest to get to.  I knew they were building a King of Prussia Wegmans and I was so excited–it’s a reasonable distance and newer equals grander…

So I was in the KOP Mall a few weeks ago and noticed a banner in the Court saying it was officially open.  So excited I snapped a picture!

Today was my first venture in with my baby in tow.  The first thing I notice is no parents with childen parking spaces.  Apparently they’ve done away with this concept.  Upon first glance inside, this appears like every other Wegmans.  As I walk through though, I notice that there are less walls and divisions, shorter depths of shelving and generally more of a minimalist, industrial sort of feel.  The classic Wegmans train still runs along the track…but many, many things are different here.

First, they have a pub.  A true sit down pub with bar.  Right across from the pub is a beer store.  No wine, just beer.  I spot an endcap of Yards.  Wegmans: that’s a nice touch.

Things are organized different.  Not really intuitively.  Quite a pain for me and the many other shoppers who clearly aren’t taking an aisle by aisle approach as I see them dart and meander back and forth between aisles.

Prices are higher.  I nearly choked when I got to the Earth’s Best stage 2 baby food and found the price wasn’t the .59 cents I was used to but a whopping $.89 a jar.  Pass!  Consistently I noticed prices were quite a bit higher than Cherry Hill’s Wegmans.

So it will still be Wegmans of Cherry Hill for me.  Or bust.

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