Sunday, October 16, 2016

New Supermarket in Town

Bill and me at the new Weis Market in Lewes

We have a new supermarket in town.  It's called Weis Markets.  I've never heard of them but I was excited to see what this new supermarket was like.

In my position as a front desk agent at a boutique hotel in Lewes I'm often asked by visiting guests how do I like Delaware.  I always say:  "I love Delaware but I do miss Wegmans Market!"  They almost always know what I'm talking about.  

When I lived in Downingtown, Pennsylvania we were blessed to have a Wegmans market in Downingtown.  I have to honestly say that is the main thing I miss about our previous home in Pennsylvania, not having a Wegmans supermarket.

If you don't know of Wegmans, you don't know what you're missing.  As Terry K., the wife of my former dentist, both of whom also retired to Delaware, said of Wegmans:
"Wegmans isn't a supermarket, it is an experience."  How true!

When I make my annual trek to Buffalo New York to met my Canadian buddy Pat (he picks me up in Buffalo and takes me over the border to his home in Toronto because the flights are way cheaper to Buffalo than Toronto), we always stop at Wegmans in Buffalo.  Always.

Living here in southern Delaware, often referred to as "Slower Lower", with justification, we do without a lot of the amenities that folks other parts of the eastern seaboard take for granted.  Like a Trader Joe's, Costco, and Wegmans.  Oh we have our Walmarts.  Three in the immediate area (Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach and Milford) but none of the cool places like Wegmans.  Thus it was with some excited anticipation that I visited the new supermarket in town.  So how was it Ron?

Well folks, you know what they say about first impressions.  Not good.  

The first thing I did when I went into the store was go to the customer service counter to get one of their cards for discounts.  I approach the counter.  I see three young women gathered around a computer screen. Laughing and giggling at something on the screen.  I think they were training each other  But they were totally unaware of me.
I'm AT the CUSTOMER SERVICE COUNTER.

I wait. And I wait.  One minute, two minutes  three minutes.  Then from behind me a man with a red Weiss shirt  asks "Are you being taken care of?"  I replied "NO.I.AM.NOT."  

He immediately went over to the gaggle of girls and one of them came over to me to ask if she could help me.  Hmmmm.  Not a good first impression. Usually when you go to a customer service counter, someone waits on you.  Not here today at Weiss'.

I get my card. I take my shopping cart and I'm off to shop.  First thing I encounter are tables blocking my path.  One table, two tables, three tables.  I stop and look at the products on the tables and immediately I'm in another shopper's way.  I move.  I maneuver myself and my cart around more tables and again, I'm in someone's way.  

The widest space I encountered at Weis Market today

You know what I hate folks?  Supermarkets that don't have wide aisles.  Not only does this supermarket have wide aisles but the aisles are cluttered with tables of more products.  As I try to maneuver myself and my cart around, I am constantly in someone's way or someone is in my way.  

So far not a happy experience folks.  I get a head of cabbage of make soup.  I try to shop some more but again, the store is too crowded.  

I got to check out.  And what do I see.  LINES!  Folks, long lines!  Oh no.  I tell Bill "I'm taking this cabbage back and getting out of here."  And I did.  

Long slow lines at Weis Markets today

This is the experience I had at the new Weiss' market on their grand opening week.  Man oh man.  Not a good experience Weiss Markets.

I attended the first day of Wegmans when they opened in Downingtown.  When I went into the store I thought I made a big mistake because the store was packed.  I thought "I'll never get out of here."  The store was almost elbow to elbow people.  

My Mom (white top) at Wegmans in Downingtown, PA - fresh veggie and fruit section - lots of aisle space

I shopped and got some items and then approached the checkout lines.  And guess what I saw folks?  ALL the checkout lines were open.  Never in my life did I ever see a supermarket with ALL the checkout lines open.  NEVER.  

I think most people are like me, they like to get in the store and out without standing in a long line.  

With my few items I choose my place in one of the lines.  Almost immediately a Wegmans employee approached me and suggested that since I had only a few items I might want to go to another line that he pointed to.  I did and I was out of that store.  

Guess what folks?  Wegmans has employees monitor the lines to expedite their shoppers getting out as fast as possible.  Know what you call that?  

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Another thing I noticed with Wegmans was that the checker bagged the groceries as they checked them.  Wow.  What revolutionary idea!  Efficiency!  

Wegmans know how to run a store.  That's why they are so popular.  

Presently I shop at Food Lion.  While Food Lion is no Wegmans, one thing they do have is wide aisles that aren't blocked.  They have a customer service center where an actual person provides SERVIÇE.  And, this is very important, I rarely have to stand in line long.  If a line develops, almost always there is a manager or assistant manager who opens another line.  Again, CUSTOMER SERVICE.  

Food Lion supermarket in Milton, DE - our grocery store of choice here in Lower Slower - it's not Wegmans but I get good prices and I can get in and out of the store . . . . fast

So that was my experience today folks. I took a break from my political ranting.  I'll go back to ranting tomorrow, I promise.

18 comments:

  1. having lived in many places I do miss some of the better markets. I have been to Wegmans but it did not impress me other than being overpriced. In Texas HEB is my favorite. In PA Giant Eagle is so good. In Florida it has to be Publix (where shopping is a pleasure).
    The worst markets are Winn Dixie, Walmart and Never been a fan of Foodlion either.... Now a days I buy produce and meats at Same and everything else in the market

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have to disagree with you Oliver about Wegmans. Oh sure, there are expensive items at Wegmans (the freshly prepared entrees and such) but I have found no store came even come close to Wegmans for a great grocery shopping experience. From the way the store is laid out (as you enter the store it's all fresh, local veggies and fruits) to all the choices. There is a reason why the Downingtown Wegmans took out of business three other supermarkets (IGA, Clemons and Acme) that were located nearby. Once Wegmans put a footprint in Downingtown, they took the business away from those other, boring, staid stores. And I love Walmart. No complaints here either for Walmart. I just with they would pay their employees more but then their prices would go up.
      Ron

      Delete
  2. I would rather read ranting about grocery lines than You-know-who.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Spo,
      Actually, I would rather ("rwather") do a blog post about one of my many rants than another political rant. But sometimes I just have to say something about our toxic political climate. Thank goodness we only have a few more weeks left of this torture.
      Ron

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience at Weis. If it was that rotten at the grand opening, it will undoubtedly get even worse. I really HATE stores that don't have wide aisles, and - surprisingly - there are lots of them. I also hate aisles that are constantly blocked by clutters of employees (this ALWAYS happens at Walmart).

    Actually, I despise the whole shopping "experience" - but some stores are far worse than others. And it is truly infuriating when they have twenty checkout counters and only two of them are ever open.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon,
      Almost all stores can't help themselves by clogging the aisles. However, Weis was particularly bad. You literally could not get through the aisles. I used to like shopping but not now. I know what I want, I go in, get it and come out as soon as I can. And I always try to go early in the morning before the hordes come out.
      Ron

      Delete
  4. Whenever I'm asked "Can I help you?" (which they ALL say, dammit!) I'm always tempted to reply "I don't know, but you MAY help me." I haven't actually done so yet because I can foresee their reaction - eyes rolling up to Heaven and the unsaid words "A nutcase!" while they try to force a smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ray,
      Hey Ray, I'm gong to the dentist tomorrow for my new partials which are gong to set me back in excess of $5,000. "Can I help you?" Yep, to my money.
      Ron

      Delete
  5. Customer service has to be trained, and some places it seems that no one knows what it is. I too am fussy about grocery stores. Best Buy, Staples, I have to chase someone down and ask them to let me spend my money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,
      I have the chase employees down in Home Depot, Staples, and Safeway. Safeway is particularly bad, union employees and you can tell. In my experience any store with union employees are usually the worst for customer service.
      Ron

      Delete
  6. Ron,

    The only Weis Market, I ever seen was in Lancaster PA. I was not impressed, employees who were not helpful and the store was dirty.

    I do most of my shopping at Shop Rite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda,
      I won't shop in a dirty store, period.
      Ron

      Delete
  7. Ron,

    Gee, Weis is still around? We use to shop at Weis in Pottstown many moons ago. We have Wegman's, Trader Joe's, CostCo and ,of course, Walmart's near by. I usually get my produce from Mariani's, but unfortunately they will be closing at the end of October until near next May. I usually go to Acme and Lois generally likes Giant, all though she's doing a lot of shopping at Sav-A-Lot these days.

    Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lar,
      You have some great stores near you! I envy you by being so near Wegmans, Trader Joes and Costco. Down here Giant is pretty good but clogged aisles, which I can't abide. Wide aisles please!
      Ron

      Delete
  8. Hey Ron - I've noticed a bit of a change recently in Toronto at some stores. But still, often in many places to shop up here or on the phone, the sense one gets is the motto is more like - "how can I not help you".
    But I would give Weis another chance once the grand opening is done with. I'll look forward to reading you political rant next. Altho I sure hear a lot of it on CNN. LOL
    Pat


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat,
      I think I'm done with Weis Markets. Too crowded aisles, poor customer service, long lines. Probably the only time I'll go there again is if I have some kind of emergency. But they didn't give me a good reason to change my grocery shopping habits.
      Ron

      Delete
  9. Publix here in the South sets the standards for customer service. No is not even in their vocabulary. Which why like Wegmans for you loyalty runs deep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roger,
      I've never had the pleasure of shopping at Public but I have heard good good things about them. I do love Wegmans!
      Ron

      Delete