Why Are People So Obsessed with Wegmans? 

The supermarket chain was just named best in the country for customer satisfaction.

Photo by Flickr user Amy Dreher

Photo by Flickr user Amy Dreher

One Sunday this past summer, I took my first-ever trip to a Wegmans. The Wegmans in Cherry Hill, to be exact. After years of hearing grocery-shopping tales that likened the supermarket to heaven on Earth, I was pretty much expecting to have my own personal butler follow me around the store, hand-feeding me cheese samples whenever I opened my mouth.

Let’s just say, my shopping trip did not live up to the hype. And it’s not to say that it was a bad grocery shopping trip — it just wasn’t as sparkly and spectacular as a decade of stories had convinced me it would be. It was just a supermarket. A really big supermarket, fluorescent lighting and all.

When I came into work that Monday and mentioned that I’d stepped foot, for the first time, into a Wegmans, people excitedly asked, “Isn’t it amazing?” I shrugged. I just didn’t get it. And what’s weird is, unlike most humans who’d rather be brunching or Netflix-ing or sleeping in on a Sunday morning, I love grocery shopping. So I really wanted to get it.

And now, since the American Customer Satisfaction Index — which gathers customers’ opinions on everything thing from store layout and cleanliness, merchandise variety, meat and produce quality, staff courtesy and more — released its findings last week, I am even more intrigued by the overwhelming love people have for Wegmans: Wegmans was ranked by customers as the top supermarket chain in the country (again), with a score of 86 out of 100. In fact, it was the only supermarket chain to improve its customer satisfaction, up from 85 last year, while the scores of most other supermarket chains dropped. Trader Joe’s came in second with a score of 83, and Whole Foods came in much lower on the list with a score of 73, down by eight points from last year. (I’m sure that whole overcharging scandal didn’t help much.)

Since my first trip to the beloved Wegmans, I’ve been back, and I have to say: Sure, the sushi case is impressive and there is something for everyone in the prepared foods section — but I still don’t quite get the obsession. So help me out, loyal Wegmans devotees, and answer me this: In your eyes, what makes Wegmans so amazing? Clearly, I’m missing something.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly — here’s how: