Attention all Wegmans fans: Kingstowne will be one of the next locations for this more-than-a-grocery store!
The new location will be part of a mixed-use project at Telegraph Road and Beulah Street near the Fort Belvoir military base. The company has already signed a letter of intent for the store location but still has to sign a lease and wait for various jurisdictional approvals. UPDATE: The likely open date is 2012, so keep gassing up your cars for Fairfax, Gainesville or Woodbridge for now . . .
This is good news for those of us who live inside the Beltway and are jealous of those who get to shop at Wegmans in Fairfax, Woodbridge, Sterling or Gainesville (and soon in Fredericksburg and Leesburg).
The problem in getting a Wegmans closer to DC is that it’s all about size for Wegmans. The store is larger than most grocery stores, at 130-150,000 square feet. That’s more than double the size of an average Giant, which measures 55,000 to 60,000 square feet.
If you haven’t been to a Wegmans yet – make time, lots of time, because compared to your normal grocery store, it’s an experience. Janet and I have been known on several occasions to make an evening of it – movie, maybe, then dinner and shopping at Wegmans!
Born in Rochester NY in 1916 as a mom-and-pop, there are now 72 Wegmans in five states. The story we heard is that the Wegmans (Robert, now Danny) waited until the passing of Izzy Cohen and the sale of Giant Food to Royal Ahold before moving into the DC area. While it’s clear that Giant went downhill fast, even at its best it did not compare to Wegmans, and whatever it’s trying to do now to catch up is doomed to be second or third best.
Why is that? Could it be because Giant has a recent history of labor issues, and Wegmans is perennially atop the Best Companies To Work For lists (last 11 years, and last 6 years in the top 10)?
By the way, the apostrophe in Wegmans disappeared in 1931 and isn’t coming back. So there, Janet.