‘Stop Wegmans’ campaign raises eyebrows in Henrico

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County residents who received phone calls and flyers encouraging people to oppose the construction of a new Wegmans grocery store are questioning the motive behind the calls.

Tuesday morning, days ahead of a vote, homes from Willow Lawn to Short Pump started getting phone calls.

"It was just odd, the whole thing was odd," said Maria Greco, who received three phone calls about Wegmans.

CBS 6 looked into the calls and found they are not coming from people who actually live in the area.

"They said that they were a group called 'concerned citizens of Short Pump' and they wanted to know if I was concerned about the Wegmans, nothing else, specifically the Wegmans coming in," said resident Kathy McCann.

Cabela's Incorporated, an outfitter for hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, has announced plans to open in 2016, near the Wegmans.

Those who got the calls say the caller on the other end had an agenda. One resident said he received more than 60 calls from the number.

"She basically started talking about how the Wegmans was going to, she said to me, increase crime," said April Sullivan.

Other callers said they were told about crime, traffic and air pollution. But no other new businesses were mentioned.

Many residents said they were not left with concerns over the grocery store, but rather concerns about the caller.

"I question whether there's a concerned citizens of Short Pump or if it's just concerned executives of area grocery stores,"McCann.

When the number is called, a concerned citizen of Short Pump doesn't answer -- instead  it's a recording by a telemarketing company.

If the Wegmans plan is approved, the Henrico store will be built on West Broad Street near North Gayton Road, near Short Pump Town Center.  There will be nearby competition from six other grocery stores just within blocks of the site; Walmart, Kroger, Martins, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Tom Leonards.

Between Wegmans and Cabelas, it is estimated more than 1,000 jobs will be created. The Henrico County Planning Commission will vote on the plan Thursday, July 10 at 7 p.m.

Developers are also planning to build a Wegmans in the Stonehenge Village Shopping Center on Midlothian Turnpike, west of Chesterfield Town Center.


  • Ron Melancon

    Wegmans please rescue us from the crappy service we get from Martins and Kroger. They sell bad watermelons that they don’t take back and then at the a Deli you got to beg to get people to cut the Deli meats for you and when you do they are mean and nasty

    • Andy Sprouse

      I am sorry you had a bad experience at kroger. The next time you are in a store please speak to a manager if you do not get outstanding service from the associate. You can also leave comments on the Kroger website.

      • Bob

        Next time you are at West Broad Kroger, check out how many of the deli employees are chewing gum, wearing jewelry or don’t have their hairnets covering all of their hair. It doesn’t make me all warm and fuzzy about them handling my food.

      • bob hubbard

        Andy- an employee I presume. Here is the abreviated list of what is wrong with Kroger.
        1-Each new store has an increasingly poorly designed parking lot to accommodate gas pumps(no gas a wegmans!)
        2-The produce is abysmal, mostly grown a continent away, under ripe, over priced, and nutritionally sub par to fresher ;local options
        3-Why farm out your cheese shop to Murry’s? over priced and poor quality.
        4-The effort put in to the Marketplace model would have been better spent on retraining the mostly apathetic staff.
        5- the first month of the short pump store, the service was good, then returned to the same poor service received at the other Krogers in the area. The Staples Mill store did not last to the second week when I made my first trip.
        I would drive past every Kroger in town to get in a line to shop at Wegmans.

    • kate

      I agree – I purchased some “fresh” fish that was so awful it took days to air out my house; I couldn’t bear to go back to Kroger for many months. When I finally did go back I found advertised items out of stock, misleading signage, and customer service that does not come close to Martin’s or Fresh Market. Wegman’s will likely put the new W. Broad Kroger out of business. I don’t think anyone will miss it. They will have contributed to their own demise.

  • kelli

    maybe if places like food lion and martins would put some money into new stores or even upgrading their 1980’s looking/feelings stores they would not need be concerned about competition.if its in fact them behind this

    • Jim

      Food Lion has actually been doing that recently. Much better shopping experience (and still cheaper prices.)

  • Glen Allen

    How silly, it is not like traffic is going to be a big deal, the area is already over-congested, but with the taxes it generates for the rest of the County, who is complaining. May the best grocer win, or better yet, may they all prosper!!!

  • Joe

    Like Bobby Ukrop said……..the only thing that kept him up at nights was a Wegmans coming to town…..

  • Not a Concerned Short Pumper

    The traffic won’t be as bad as Short Pumpers may think. Many Wegman’s shoppers will come from Wyndham. They have a new street connecting Pouncey Tract Road to West Broad Street: North Gayton Road. And South Siders who come to shop there can take Route 288 and get off in Goochland, driving east on West Broad Street. If you actually live near Short Pump, there are a few ways to bypass the maelstrom of West Broad Street between I-64 and the Pouncey Tract signal.

  • Tim Judd

    Wegmans, a family owned company, is consistently in Fortune’s “top ten companies to work for” and I think you really feel it in the atmosphere when you enter the store. I heard that they completely redesigned the cap of their water bottles after ONE customer pointed out potential danger. That’s the kind of company it is. I’m a native of the Rochester area where they’re headquartered, so I may be a little biased, but they have always done a lot for the community up there. It’s a classy outfit and it will be a really positive addition to the Richmond market.

  • Msswiss

    Everybody thinks Wegman’s is the end all be all and pinnacle of great service. It’s not, far from it. Well at least the one in Fredericksburg that one looks and feels like any other chain store nothing great and terrible service in almost every department and the out of stocks are unreal. So Kroger, Food Lion and even Wegmans fear the day Giant Eagle comes to town that place is amazing.

    • bob hubbard

      I agree, the further south you go, the further south customer service goes. With the exception of Chic-fil-a and locally owned Arby’s, southern hospitality is a myth! Now, travel anywhere from Syracuse to Milwaukee and you will experience true hospitality.

      • B Addy

        Interesting Bob, I have found the exact opposite to be true. The farther North I go the rudeness increases tremendously. If you hold the door for someone they look at you like you are from Mars they are so shocked.

      • bob hubbard

        Sure, maybe in New England, maybe. Midwest > Southern hospitality. Name some places that give superior customer service in Richmond. Ukrops HAD good service, but were over priced and out dated.

  • Sean Greer

    This whole thing smacks of a fake protest, most likely by the stores that will have to compete with Wegman’s. Traffic in Short Pump is already pretty bad most afternoons.I don’t see development in Short Pump slowing down any time soon. If Wegman’s wants to come, let ’em! The main concern for me with all the development is, is it really needed?

  • Russell

    Got my Lobsters for my lastSeafood boil @the Wegmans inFredericksburg. Saved 8.00 per lb over what the locals inRichmond were charging. Walmart super stores no longer carry them and Costco mail order would match the price but u have to wait 3-5 days for delivery from Maine. Can’t wait for them to come South and provideMORE competition to the marketplace…

  • Vivian C

    Personally, I think Wegmans is missing a bet by not locating this store near the intersection of I-95 and I-295 where there is less competition. They also might draw more customers from Hanover, Ashland, and Mechanicsville.

  • Romaine Cheney

    Does anyone know what the number is they are calling from?? I keep getting a phone call from a cell phone but no one leaves a message. All day long!!! I’m getting tired of it!! I don’t answer numbers I don’t know.

  • Ken

    Bob, The Ukrop Family has done and still does more for the Richmond area than Wegmans or any other ” chain ” could ever dream of doing. Ukrops was locally owned and operated and it showed in the stores and how they treated customers. You sound like a typical yank who wouldn’t know hospitality if it bit you on the tongue. Wegmans is like Whole Foods and Trader Joes , just another over priced snobbish yuppie store. Don’t place blame on others because they’re not responsible for how the stores are managed or operated.

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