An architectural rendering of the first Long Island supermarket that...

An architectural rendering of the first Long Island supermarket that Wegmans expects to open, in Lake Grove, in the first quarter of 2025. Credit: Wegmans Food Markets Inc.

More Long Island shoppers are heading to discount grocers to cut higher food costs, but the Island’s first Wegmans should be a strong competitor since the high-end retailer sells “experiences” in addition to merchandise, retail experts said.

The Rochester-based grocer plans to open its first Long Island store in Lake Grove in the first quarter of 2025, said Mandee Puleo, a Wegmans spokeswoman.

Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl are taking bigger shares of shoppers’ dollars, as food prices remain 25% higher than they were four years ago. Aldi, which has 13 Long Island stores, including four that opened in the last two years, plans to open five more on the Island by fall 2025 and 800 more nationwide by the end of 2028.

But it’s not the discounters that will feel most of the effects from Wegmans’ presence in Lake Grove, said Jeff Metzger, publisher of Food Trade News, a Columbia, Maryland-based publication.

“Wegmans is likely to take share from more traditional retailers who compete with them within a 5-mile radius — Stop & Shop, King Kullen and, to a lesser extent, the Hauppauge ShopRite. Although with the capability of [Wegmans] doing more than $1 million per week in sales, all food retailers within that radius will be impacted to some degree,” he said.

Wegmans differentiates itself by offering a more upscale shopping experience that targets customers who value service and larger stores over low prices, said Sujeet Naik, an analyst at Coresight Research, a Manhattan-based retail analysis provider.

“Additionally, Wegmans has a strong foothold in the prepared foods and meal solutions segment, which sets it apart from traditional grocery stores and discounters,” he said.

Foot traffic at Wegmans’ stores rose 7% over the 12-month period that ended in March, while overall grocery foot traffic grew 8.8%, according to Placer.ai, a Los Altos, California-based firm that analyzes location data from mobile devices. Foot traffic at discount and dollar stores grew 15.6% during the same period.

Founded in 1916, Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is a regional supermarket chain with 111 stores on the East Coast. 

Wegmans plans to open three new stores in 2025, including the 100,000-square-foot Long Island supermarket, which will be in a shopping center called DSW Plaza at Lake Grove. 

Construction started with foundations in January, Puleo said.

In October, Wegmans Food Markets Inc. bought 8½ acres of the shopping center from Prestige Properties and Development. Manhattan-based Prestige owns and operates the remaining approximately 20 acres of the shopping center, located at the corner of Middle Country and Moriches roads.

Wegmans has begun hiring for more than 500 employees for the Lake Grove store, Puleo said.

Traditional grocery stores pull in most of the grocery dollars on Long Island, but they have been losing some dominance to discounters.

Among Long Island’s top 20 grocery-selling supermarkets, drugstores and warehouse clubs, traditional grocer Stop & Shop is the biggest player, according to a June report from Food Trade News.

Stop & Stop’s 50 Long Island supermarkets in 2023 accounted for 18.12% of the market share in the area, a decline from the retailer's performance in 2018, when it had 51 stores accounting for 21.02% of the market, according to Food Trade News.

Last year, Aldi ranked 19th on Long Island, where it had 0.89% of the market share, after not cracking the top 20 in 2018.

Over the last five years, Wegmans has opened 14 stores, some of which were in new markets for the chain.

Wegmans entered New York City with a Brooklyn store in 2019, the same year it made its debut in North Carolina with a Raleigh store. The retailer opened its first Washington, D.C., and Delaware stores in 2022.

The chain opens two to three new stores annually, with a focus on filling gaps in its existing markets, including more-urban areas, Puleo said.

“We also take the size of a potential site into consideration. Our traditional suburban stores are large, between 80,000 and 120,000 square feet, requiring 15 to 20 acres of land to accommodate our store and adequate parking,” she said.

The supermarkets Wegmans will open next year include stores in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Rockville, Maryland. The retailer also plans to open a store in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2026.

More Long Island shoppers are heading to discount grocers to cut higher food costs, but the Island’s first Wegmans should be a strong competitor since the high-end retailer sells “experiences” in addition to merchandise, retail experts said.

The Rochester-based grocer plans to open its first Long Island store in Lake Grove in the first quarter of 2025, said Mandee Puleo, a Wegmans spokeswoman.

Discounters such as Aldi and Lidl are taking bigger shares of shoppers’ dollars, as food prices remain 25% higher than they were four years ago. Aldi, which has 13 Long Island stores, including four that opened in the last two years, plans to open five more on the Island by fall 2025 and 800 more nationwide by the end of 2028.

But it’s not the discounters that will feel most of the effects from Wegmans’ presence in Lake Grove, said Jeff Metzger, publisher of Food Trade News, a Columbia, Maryland-based publication.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Wegmans has begun hiring for more than 500 employees for its first Long Island store in Lake Grove in the first quarter of 2025.
  • Although more shoppers are heading to discount grocers to cut higher food costs, experts said the high-end retailer will attract customers who value upscale, larger stores.
  • Traditional grocery stores pull in most of the grocery dollars on Long Island, but they have been losing some dominance to discounters.

“Wegmans is likely to take share from more traditional retailers who compete with them within a 5-mile radius — Stop & Shop, King Kullen and, to a lesser extent, the Hauppauge ShopRite. Although with the capability of [Wegmans] doing more than $1 million per week in sales, all food retailers within that radius will be impacted to some degree,” he said.

Wegmans differentiates itself by offering a more upscale shopping experience that targets customers who value service and larger stores over low prices, said Sujeet Naik, an analyst at Coresight Research, a Manhattan-based retail analysis provider.

“Additionally, Wegmans has a strong foothold in the prepared foods and meal solutions segment, which sets it apart from traditional grocery stores and discounters,” he said.

Foot traffic at Wegmans’ stores rose 7% over the 12-month period that ended in March, while overall grocery foot traffic grew 8.8%, according to Placer.ai, a Los Altos, California-based firm that analyzes location data from mobile devices. Foot traffic at discount and dollar stores grew 15.6% during the same period.

Retail shifts

Founded in 1916, Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is a regional supermarket chain with 111 stores on the East Coast. 

Wegmans plans to open three new stores in 2025, including the 100,000-square-foot Long Island supermarket, which will be in a shopping center called DSW Plaza at Lake Grove. 

Construction started with foundations in January, Puleo said.

In October, Wegmans Food Markets Inc. bought 8½ acres of the shopping center from Prestige Properties and Development. Manhattan-based Prestige owns and operates the remaining approximately 20 acres of the shopping center, located at the corner of Middle Country and Moriches roads.

Wegmans has begun hiring for more than 500 employees for the Lake Grove store, Puleo said.

Traditional grocery stores pull in most of the grocery dollars on Long Island, but they have been losing some dominance to discounters.

Among Long Island’s top 20 grocery-selling supermarkets, drugstores and warehouse clubs, traditional grocer Stop & Shop is the biggest player, according to a June report from Food Trade News.

Stop & Stop’s 50 Long Island supermarkets in 2023 accounted for 18.12% of the market share in the area, a decline from the retailer's performance in 2018, when it had 51 stores accounting for 21.02% of the market, according to Food Trade News.

Last year, Aldi ranked 19th on Long Island, where it had 0.89% of the market share, after not cracking the top 20 in 2018.

Filling the gaps

Over the last five years, Wegmans has opened 14 stores, some of which were in new markets for the chain.

Wegmans entered New York City with a Brooklyn store in 2019, the same year it made its debut in North Carolina with a Raleigh store. The retailer opened its first Washington, D.C., and Delaware stores in 2022.

The chain opens two to three new stores annually, with a focus on filling gaps in its existing markets, including more-urban areas, Puleo said.

“We also take the size of a potential site into consideration. Our traditional suburban stores are large, between 80,000 and 120,000 square feet, requiring 15 to 20 acres of land to accommodate our store and adequate parking,” she said.

The supermarkets Wegmans will open next year include stores in Norwalk, Connecticut, and Rockville, Maryland. The retailer also plans to open a store in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2026.

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