Why Don’t You Build Stores Where There Are Food Deserts?

This is a question we continue to be asked. Being a food retailer, we certainly understand the importance and need for everyone to have access to affordable, nutritious food – it’s vital to every community.

Some believe the solution to this problem is for Wegmans to build a store in areas that are considered food deserts. We operate a high-volume, low-price business; we require a lot of customers shopping in our stores to achieve the volume needed to be successful. We employ roughly 500 people per store to provide the high service customers have come to expect from Wegmans. We know from experience that this business model is not effective in all geographic areas. Bringing a high-volume retailer to these areas could potentially deter a smaller full-service food retailer – whose business model is a better fit – from moving in, or take business away from existing bodegas and small businesses in that area.

Regardless of where our stores and distribution centers are physically located, we’ve always supported the surrounding communities we serve through partnerships with a multitude of charitable organizations. For decades, we’ve strived to increase access to food through our community giving efforts. Last year alone, our company, with help from our employees and customers, donated more than 32 million meals to those in need.

We are proud to be recognized as a top workplace in America for 25 years in a row and believe it is our responsibility to provide meaningful work, long-term careers, and financial stability for people. We know that education creates opportunity. Our work scholarship students have a consistent 99-100% graduation rate over the years. This, coupled with being one of the top employers of city residents in the areas we have operated the longest, is how we believe we can best serve the city.

Our success enables us to give back to our communities and play a meaningful role in addressing the specific needs of each neighborhood. We’ve evolved our business model to enable us to provide incredible service to our customers and keep our prices low. By keeping our values in mind with every decision we make, we can take care of our people, our customers, and our communities, while also running a successful business.