Wegmans, not a grocer to rest on laurels, will have completed $40 million in upgrades to two of its Erie County stores within the next two years.
The Wegmans supermarket on Transit Road in the Town of Amherst is getting an extreme makeover. The store, at 8270 Transit Road near Maple Road, will undergo a multi-million-dollar expansion and upgrade beginning this summer, concluding in late 2016.
The existing 81,000-square-foot store will be expanded to about 97,000 square feet to allow for a larger selection of its popular prepared foods and more seating in its Market Cafe dining area.
Nearly every department will be upgraded. New equipment, such as coolers, ovens and display cases will be installed throughout the store, and the interior will be updated with a new European-style decor. The store’s exterior will be updated with a new facade, complete with a clock tower.
Work on the parking lot will begin next week, including new landscaping and new LED exterior lighting, and will wrap up in late 2016. Work on the store will be done in phases, and the store will remain open throughout that time.
The Transit Road store opened in 1996 and got some parking lot and equipment upgrades in 2010.
The company’s Amherst Street store in the Black Rock section of Buffalo also has undergone major upgrades. The store added 1,800 additional square feet and remodeled the entire interior. The store’s kitchen was overhauled, as were its prepared foods and perishable departments. The added space accommodates more seating for customers dining in the store’s Market Cafe.
Many grocery stores are turning their focus to prepared foods as a way to differentiate themselves from competitors. Wegmans declined to give a price tag for the Transit Road project but said investments in that and the less extensive work done to the Amherst Street location will total $40 million.
Wegmans plans to open a total of 10 stores over the next three years, in Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Wegmans opened its first Erie County store on Dick Road in 1977, which was replaced in 2006. It has nine stores in Erie County, one in Niagara County and employs about 3,200 people locally.