Call me crazy but with a barbeque on the Quad to feed dozens of hungry students on Sunday night I needed to get lots of provisions. And as the purchases are normally made on a Wegmans charge card and the new Wegmans was opening right there in Liverpool--I had to go. Just had to.
This was a spur of the moment excursion and I had no time to write the necessary letters to get permission to take photos inside the store so there are none. For now, these exterior shots will have to suffice.
So what's the big deal you ask? Actually, I'm asking that too. But first let me say that I do my regular Wegmans shopping at the Dewitt store--one of the largest in Upstate New York. I don't know what the old Liverpool Wegmans was like but I suspect that this upgrade was due. This one is larger than the one they closed but not as large as Dewitt. But aside from the changes in the floor tile, lighting (which was a tad too dark for me--particularly in the produce section), and the beautiful murals depicting scenes around the region--I couldn't tell much difference. It may be because this new store added amenties and features that have long been in place in Dewitt. Though I'll grant that the hordes of people may have made it more difficult to see the finer changes.
The interior layout seemed to be the same. In fact, I was able to buy $100.00 worth of grilling food, utensils, condiments, (organic and conventional) without ever looking at a map--the layout is that similar. I'm not a food store specialist so much of it is probably beyond me. I do, however, have degrees in architecture and historic preservation but I'm not going to get into critiquing the exterior facade here. But to state the obvious, those second story windows don't actually let any natural light onto the shopping floor.
But I don't begrudge Wegmans the desire for a fresh look. What, with the clock tower and the outdoor seating at the Market Cafe the architecture begins to echo the reality that for many, Wegmans is the public square. (And what is it with the cafes that front parking lots?)
Last week when I took my folks from the Bahamas through the Dewitt Wegmans they couldn't believe it-they had that predictable look of incredulity that a Wegmans virgin gets in their eyes. You have to admit, Wegmans is really unlike any other supermarket. When I told them that this store was expanding they kept asking why. It has been reported that when it is done the Dewitt Wegmans will once again be the largest in the chain. I'll take the upgrades and the new exterior--fine. But what more can they sell us?