Wegmans plans new East Coast stores

Wegmans Food Markets has plans to expand to the Richmond, Va., area with two new supermarkets there. It will be the grocer's first entry into the area.

"Over the years, we have had countless requests to open a Wegmans store in the Richmond area, so we are delighted to finally announce that we're headed there," said Ralph Uttaro, Wegmans SVP for real estate.

Each of Wegmans' Richmond-area stores is expected to employ 550 to 600 people in full- and part-time positions. The two new sites are about 11 miles apart and will be 120,000 to 140,000 square feet each, the company said.

Wegmans will not release a projected opening date for the Richmond-area stores until all the necessary approvals are obtained.

Additionally, Wegmans said it is opening a store in Chesnut Hill, Mass., near Boston.

The family-owned supermarket chain, founded in 1916 and with headquarters in Gates, N.Y., near Rochester, has 83 stores in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.

Wegmans isn't the only grocery chain with expansion plans on the horizon. Earlier this year, Sprouts Farmers Market and Giant Eagle unveiled plans to expand their food businesses into new regions. Sprouts Farmers Market, a Phoenix-based specialty store, said it will open five new stores in the Atlanta area by the end of the year, while Giant Eagle is building its first Indianapolis-area location.

There have been big shakeups in the supermarket sector since the sale of Safeway's remaining stores to the parent company of Albertsons and the divesture of Supervalu's Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Market stores to AB Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of a Cerberus Capital Management L.P.-led investor consortium.

For more:
-See this Wegmans press release

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