A semi-curmudgeonly Wegmans post

Wegmans — Rochester’s iconic supermarket chain — has rubbed me the wrong way a couple times in recent months. First, they completely rearranged their Pittsford store, where I do my shopping. I’m sure they have perfectly good business reasons for doing so. But weeks later, I’m still uncertain where various products are shelved. It bugs me that a chore that ought to be fairly routine was — without my being consulted, imagine — made more complicated, albeit only until I’ve finished learning the new arrangement.

My irritation at the whole-store makeover pales, however, in comparison to how I felt when I discovered they’d changed how they display their organic produce. I’ve been buying organic produce from that store for probably twenty years, and it’s always been displayed in a dedicated section of the store’s produce department. Now all of a sudden they’ve dispersed their organic produce throughout the department. So instead of going to one place to shop for produce, I have to go hunting — not just to shop, but to even figure out what organic produce they have in stock.

My solution: buy less produce from them. I simply don’t have the time to figure out where the organic peppers might be this week. Much simpler to just go to the Genesee Co-op [which doesn’t seem to have a website] or Lori’s [which does have a website but don’t click it if you find their theme song unbearable because their home page blasts it at you full volume] and stock up on produce there.

Anyway. The organic produce thing still burns me, but I was pleased yesterday to discover that the store is now selling reusable grocery bags.

wegmans reusable grocery bag

Here’s a pic. I bought two yesterday. Only 99 cents apiece if you’ve got a Wegman’s shoppers club card.

Besides being better for the environment rah rah rah the new bags look like they’re going to behave better than plastic ones. They’re gussetted and have a bit of heft to them. Presumably they won’t be as prone to sliding around in the car and disgorging their contents. They also look like they’ll hold about as much as a paper bag, but have handles like plastic bags, which means it may be easier to lug the groceries from the car to the house. Fewer trips. And less time spent retrieving spilled groceries that have rolled out of reach in the the car. Get back some of the time I wasted learning where the canned olives are now.

It will be interesting to see how things go from a workflow perspective at checkout. Are the grommets on the bags there so clerks can slip them onto the same racks they use to hold plastic bags open while they scan purchases? Will it take longer for the clerks to position the reusable bags, compared to just pulling open a plastic bag from the rack like they do now?

It will be interesting to see how this catches on as well. I expect that at this store, at least, the bags will become hugely popular. I know I didn’t hesitate to switch the first time I saw them.

[tags] Wegmans, Rochester, New York [/tags]

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4 Responses to A semi-curmudgeonly Wegmans post

  1. Deb says:

    It must be a conspiracy…Price Chopper near my house just did the same thing with their organic produce! So next I hope they start having the same grocery bags as your pictured Wegman bags!

  2. Kirsten says:

    Oh, really!!!!

    Worse than a conspiracy — a TREND!


    We can only hope that the extra organic produce they sell when people pick it up accidentally (which they’re bound to do now, right?) doesn’t offset their loss of sales to people like me, who decide to shop elsewhere. Then maybe someone will crunch the numbers and realize they have to trend the other way . . .

    Meanwhile, I bought some kale and some asparagus from Lori’s yesterday — asparagus is on sale, whoo hooo!

  3. dad says:

    Yeah, but if we stop using plastic bags, how are you going to get the eggs home? I’ll be damn if I’ll issue reusable bags–bad enough we have to store egg boxes.

  4. Kirsten says:

    No problem, Dad, I plan to store my reusable Wegman’s bags in my car — otherwise I see myself dashing off to shop without them. So we can just pack eggs in them :-)

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