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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Market said late last week that it would build a store at the proposed Silver Spring Square II retail center along the Carlisle Pike in south central Pennsylvania, gaining a foothold in a market best known as the home region of Ahold-owned Giant-Carlisle.
Wegmans spokeswoman Jeanne Colleluori said in a report published by the Carlisle, Pa. Sentinel that the store in Silver Spring Township could open sometime during 2007, but no start date on construction had been fixed yet, as the Northeast regional grocer was still waiting for its developer to prepare the land for a store. The store could employ 500 to 600 people, she noted, with some of those employees brought in from other stores to help with training and the adjustment to a new market.
Wegmans will enter the market to follow shifting population patterns. "Most of our growth is moving down toward the mid-Atlantic region," Colleluori said, according to the Sentinel report. "There is a great deal of growth in that part of the country."
Wegmans has 10 stores in other areas of Pennsylvania, with an 11th scheduled to open in late 2006, north of Philadelphia. The retailer also has a DC in Pottsville.
Wegmans stores normally boast such amenities as a dining area; a sushi bar; a wide assortment of ethnic foods, cheeses, and pastries; and an on-site bakery. The company recently opened its first store in Maryland, a 140,000-square-foot location carrying more than 60,000 items, to much press attention.
According to Colleluori, Wegmans opens only two or three new stores a year because of it spends so much time training employees to provide the retailer's signature customer service.
Wegmans, a family-owned chain with 69 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia, employs about 32,000 associates.