Publix and Wegmans to compete head on
Publix has been inexorably moving northward up the East Coast. Wegmans has been on a steady march south. With the news that Wegmans has found a location to open its first store in North Carolina, how long will it be before two of the nation’s supermarkets favored most among consumers go head-to-head?
Wegmans confirmed to The News & Observer that the family-owned grocery chain has signed a letter of intent to negotiate a lease for space within a new shopping center scheduled to open in Cary, NC. Publix already has one store operating in the area and has two others planned.
Publix and Wegmans regularly rank near the top when consumers are asked to name their favorite grocery chains. Publix, which bills itself as the largest employee-owned grocer in the U.S., is known for superior customer service and its BOGO sales on its private label. Wegmans, which operates big stores with an emphasis on produce, bakery and in-store food prep, has legions of fans including, most famously, the actor Alec Baldwin and his mother.
Both Publix and Wegmans view pharmacy as a means to achieve their sales and profit goals. A J.D. Power customer satisfaction study of nearly 15,000 consumers found Wegmans ranked first and Publix second among supermarkets with pharmacies. Interestingly, Wegmans’ score was higher than the top drugstore chain (Good Neighbor Pharmacy) named in the study, while Publix was tied with the second highest ranked drugstore (Health Mart).
- Wegmans seeks to open first NC grocery store near Cary Towne Center – The News & Observer
- Supermarket Buying Guide – Consumer Reports (sub. required)
- Trader Joe’s voted America’s favorite grocery store for a third straight year – MarketWatch
- Publix sees pharmacy as a growth engine – RetailWire
- Wegmans has the best pharmacy, too – RetailWire
What do you expect to happen when Publix and Wegmans begin competing in the same markets? If you were running Publix, how would you approach your competition with Wegmans? If you were running Wegmans, how would you go to market against Publix?