The grocery industry has been set on its ear by the recent economic crisis, as shoppers seeking to wring more from their food budget abandon the upscale markets such as Fresh Market in favor of price-first merchants like Wal-Mart. Playing to the shifting buying habits is upscale grocer Wegmans, which has announced it will lower prices on hundreds of items.
Wegmans, with 72 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland, states that it will eat the cost of lowering prices on items on which is has locked-in contracts with its suppliers, the culprit in the delay between commodity price drops and the price on the shelf. The price cuts will be seen first in its house brands, over which it exercises more control.
Wegmans finishes near the top of Fortune Magazine's annual list of the 100 best companies to work for, and claims a "nearly telepathic level of customer service," a claim that brings many amusing possible scenarios to my mind, none of which I can share here. The company pledges that "Every Day You Get Our Best." It might want to add the word "Price" to that pledge, if it intends to lure back the WalMart shoppers.
Thanks, The Consumerist