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Wegmans delays store opening downstate

Wegmans is delaying the opening of its store in Harrison, Westchester County. 

In an announcement made earlier this week, the manager of the store near White Plains mentioned “unprecedented times” as a reason for the delay but didn’t specifically mention the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The store had been scheduled to open June 7. Typically an opening draws help from headquarters and other stores around the 101-store company to help in the launch. Currently, all stores are dealing with a huge crush of business as consumers try to stock up as they expect to be staying home for extended periods of time. 

“Given these unprecedented times, we feel this is the right thing to do,” said Matthew Dailor, manager of the Wegmans store in Harrison. “We are so excited to be part of the Harrison community and can’t wait to start serving our local customers. We’re keeping in touch with our community organizations to partner with them as this situation continues to develop.” The company said a new opening date will be announced later. 

Training and hiring at the store continue. Wegmans has not yet announced any changes in the planned openings of stores in West Cary, N.C., and Tysons Corner, Va., later this year. The North Carolina store is scheduled to open Aug. 2. while Tysons Corner is due to open in the fall. 

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Wegmans opens in the Big Apple Sunday morning

Wegmans will break into the New York City market at 7 a.m. Sunday when it opens a 74,000 square-foot  supermarket in Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.

The store – the 101st for Wegmans — is a little more than half as large as the company’s typical supermarkets in less congested areas, but will feature similar features, including a bar on the mezzanine level, Market Café, Burger Bar, bakery, and catering department.

Somewhat unusual for an establishment in crowded New York City, Wegmans will have nearly 700-parking spaces in an open-air lot and parking garage adjacent to its store on Flushing Avenue.

Wegmans' new Brooklyn store in Navy Yard has a more urban look. Photo supplied by Wegmans.
Wegmans’ new Brooklyn store in Navy Yard has a more urban look. (Wegmans photo)

Store manager Kevin Cuff, who began his career with Wegmans in Auburn, last worked in Wegmans’ Woodbridge, N.J., store. Most of the other senior managers in the store are also transferring from New Jersey.

The store opens with 540 employees who have been in training for months. The company is also hiring for its Harrison store, located just north of the city of White Plains, in Westchester County. That store is due to open in the spring.

In June, the company gave out $500 college scholarships to six Brooklyn-area students as a way of promoting the scholarships it provides as an employee benefit.

Last month, a record crowd anticipated Wegmans’ store opening in Raleigh, N.C. More than 3,000 people waited in line to be among the first customers to shop at the new store.

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ALDI opens new Chili store

 ALDI will open another Rochester-area story on Thursday as it works toward its goal of reaching 2,500 stores in the United States by the end of 2022.

The newest store is at 3170 Chili Ave., Chili. A ribbon cutting was scheduled for 8:25 a.m. and early shoppers were being offered a  chance to win a year’s supplies of produce from ALDI. Regular store hours will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

“We know ALDI is the grocery option busy Chili shoppers need for their everyday lives,” said Aaron Sumida, Tully division vice president. “ALDI stores are designed to save customers time and money, and we’re looking forward to helping even more shoppers fill their carts at our new Chili store.”

The grocery store chain, based in Germany, has been on a renovation spree in the area as well as opening new stores. Construction is underway to expand the existing store in Farmington, and to renovate the former Tops supermarket on North Winton Road at Blossom. ALDI currently has more than 1,800 stores in the United States.

Expansion plans extend beyond the physical layout of its stores, according to the ALDI announcement. The company has added 20 percent more products overall, with an increase of 40 percent in its fresh food, organic and easy-to-prepare foods.

ALDI has recently beefed up its fresh and organic foods. Photo supplied.
ALDI has recently beefed up its fresh and organic foods. (Provided photo)

The company has also engaged in a relationship with Instacart so time-pressed customers can order and have delivered groceries from ALDI.

ALDI plans to add 25,000 more employees in its stores, offices and warehouses by the end of 2022, and noted that it has been named to Forbes’ best large places to work list for the last five years, along with other ranked lists. Information about hiring at ALDI is available at the company’s website.

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Wegmans opens store number 99 on Sunday

Wegmans opens its 99th store Sunday morning at 7 a.m. in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia Beach.

Mike Coyle, whose career at Wegmans has included managing the Chili-Paul store in the Rochester area and the Corning store on the Southern Tier, is the new store’s manager.

“I want our customer service to blow away all expectations,” Coyle said. “Every interaction is a moment of truth to win over our customers and earn their trust.”

Upstate native Mike Coyle, manager of Wegmans' new Virginia Beach store
Upstate native Mike Coyle, manager of Wegmans’ new Virginia Beach store.

Coyle, a graduate of Livonia High School and Rochester Institute of Technology, oversaw seafood merchandising for Wegmans’ Virginia stores after he relocated from New York.

“Seafood is an area where our quality really sets us apart,” Coyle said. “Fresh, whole fish are delivered daily and cut to order. When in season, fish will come from local waters off the mid-Atlantic coast and the Chesapeake Bay. We can’t wait to show it all off on opening day.”

The store will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight after Sunday, and employ some 500 people. It features The Burger Bar restaurant, and seating for 300 indoors and outdoors for a Market Café. Virginia Beach will be Wegmans’ farthest-south location for a few months.

Later this year Wegmans expects to open a store in Raleigh, N.C., its first in that state, and in Brooklyn.

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CountryMax opens in Batavia again

CountryMax has opened its new store in Batavia, one of 17 stores operated by the family business that began in Farmington.

The 23,000-square-foot store has scheduled a grand opening celebration May 18 and 19, but doors opened Thursday for shoppers.

CountryMax is open now in Batavia. Photo supplied.
CountryMax is open now in Batavia. Photo supplied.

The store replaces a smaller store just east of the city of Batavia, which the family-owned company closed in February when its 10-year-lease ran out. The new store is larger and located in the heart of a commercial district on the northwest side of Batavia.

A former OfficeMax store, the location has been remodeled to feature the peaked barn exterior that is a signature element of CountryMax stores, and include wooden fixtures and other lodge-like elements.

Besides a range of pet and farm animal food and supplies, the new store offers self-serve pet-washing stations, a fish room, lawn and garden supplies, gifts, novelty items and a range of do-it-yourself products for making beer, wine, cider and cheese.

“I think anyone who shopped with us in the past knows we have a huge, unique selection of products that fits the Batavia area,” said Brad Payne, director of sales, “and they are going to be thrilled to see the amount of time, effort, and work that has gone into creating the new CountryMax store experience.”

The company marks its 35th anniversary this year.

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Wegmans gets ready to open store 97 in Chantilly, Va.

Wegmans will open its 97th store on Sunday morning, this time in Chantilly, Va.

Executive Chef Halit Ozdemir
Executive Chef Halit Ozdemir

The 120,000-square-foot store will include The Burger Bar, a casual restaurant modeled on the original in Pittsford. The new store’s executive chef, Halit Ozdemir, trained at the Pittsford store’s restaurant.

He’ll oversee 130 employees who prepare food both for the restaurant and prepared-foods areas in the grocery store.

“We’ll have an amazing variety of restaurant food. I can’t wait for our customers to see this store,” he says. “On any given day, you might find me at the new made-to-order Mexican station, expediting orders at The Burger Bar, or rolling sushi. I like to work side-by-side with members of my team. We all learn from each other.”

The Chantilly store is the 11th Virginia store for Wegmans. Even so, Store Manager Brien MacKendrick says the 500 employees must continue to focus on earning customers’ trust and loyalty.

“Our people set us apart and we know we have to do our best every day,” he says. “As we put the final touches on our new store, our work impressing customers is only beginning.”

The newest Wegmans, in Chantilly, VA
The newest Wegmans, in Chantilly, VA

Wegmans plans to open additional stores in Virginia: Virginia Beach, Tysons Corner, Alexandria and Arcola. The only other store opening planned in 2018, though, is in Lancaster, Pa.

The Chantilly store will open at 7 a.m. Sunday.

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