Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Secrets Of Working At Wegmans - Part 1
I worked at Wegmans.
I loved Wegmans. I was a fan when the first store arrived in Warrington, Pa a few years ago. I hated the weird ceiling though. The store itself was so big and the cafe upstairs so awesome and then you have this freaky ceiling with exposed pipes and odd beehive looking material surrounding it.
However. The bakery! The takeout bar! The upstairs cafe! Then they added a beer section.
And then they started changing. I've heard, it was probably not long after the founder, Robert Wegman died.
The first thing I started noticing was Wegman's started replacing my favorite brands with their own brands. And I tried Wegman's brand - and some of them are pretty good, but most, I've had bad luck with. I've found tiny branches in Wegmans peanut butter, the Wegmans Olive Oil lids often never close properly, the soup (canned not plastic tub) is horrendous, and the frozen meatballs which daughter loves when I make sweet/sour crockpot meatballs - were so bad daughter would not eat them. She could tell the difference right away. The sour cream? Tasteless.
Now, look, I get they are trying to make money (yet, they constantly badger they are all about the customer, which, after working there, I can honestly say from what I've experienced... they are not) but it's totally frustrating when they stop carrying a favorite well known brand (or are always 'out of it' - so that the shopper must choose the Wegman brand).
The other thing they do is change the store around. A-LOT. Like, complete store changes. In Warrington they said this was to make it similar to the Montgomeryville store (the 3rd time it changed). Customers openly complained as I shopped beside them, and I chimed right in. The sad thing is, the employees you complain to have absolutely NO voice when it comes to corporate. What corporate says goes; no matter how often you call the Wegman's store number or how often managers report customer complaints, 90% of the time, it falls on deaf ears.
Example: The layout of the Montgomeryville Store. The bakery (where I worked!) is one of the top selling departments. In every store the bakery is joined with breads and breakfast - HOWEVER, corporate decided not to do this. They made the bakery smaller and attached it to the pizza/sandwhich shop. The walk in freezer in the bakery was super small and often the boxes were loaded to the ceiling and I can't tell you how often boxes fell from the top. A safety nightmare. Then, they put bread ACROSS from the bakery and oh, yeah, to make things even more confusing, they put the birthday cakes no where near the bakery. People asked how I stayed so skinny working at the bakery...I said because I was constantly walking people over to where the cakes were!
Okay. Whew! I'm taking a break here. I didn't realize I had so much to write about. More later.
ps: I still shop Wegmans, mostly because their prices are still lower than most places around me.