Wegmans’ Sales Weck-ing

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Aug 19, 2002
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The Rochester, NY-based supermarket chain, Wegmans, has an established reputation as an innovator in food retailing. Wegmans has earned its reputation carrying unique products on its center store shelves and in its food service operations.

The latest innovation from Wegmans comes from the exotic locale of Buffalo, NY. The culinary home of Buffalo Wings also boasts another gastronomic delight, Charlie the Butcher’s beef on weck.

The Buffalo News reports that Charlie makes beef on weck by taking a center-cut top round of beef and cooking it 18 hours. A kaiser roll, with caraway seeds and pretzel salt, is dipped in the roast’s juices.

Charlie the Butcher has three self-standing Buffalo area locations and Wegmans will be adding three new Charlie stores inside the supermarket’s Market Café. Future expansion plans will depend on sales in the initial test locations.

Wegmans paid Charlie the Butcher’s to place its shops in the supermarkets. The deal also includes revenue sharing.

Why didn’t Wegmans just make their own weks. Jim Berndt, vice president of prepared foods said, “We want to make sure it’s authentic. Instead of trying to do our own, we went after the best.”

Moderator’s Comment: What makes Wegmans successful?
Is the corporate culture of Wegmans more innovative than other food retailers
or does it simply appear that way from the outside looking in?


We can not say that we’ve ever tasted a weck. Heck, we
didn’t even know what one was until reading the Buffalo News piece. Like
many moves that Wegmans makes, we expect this one to be successful.


One quote attributed to Danny Wegman sums up the reason
for the chain’s success to us. “I kept asking our employees, ‘What is the most
popular food in Buffalo and who makes it?’ I kept hearing Charlie the Butcher.”
Decision made.

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