Owner store

Wegmans to open Connecticut’s first store in Norwalk

NORWALK — Wegmans, the upstate New York-based upscale grocery chain, announced plans on Tuesday to open its first Connecticut store on 11 acres of land off Connecticut Avenue near from Interstate 95.

Marcie Rivera, a spokeswoman for the chain, said Wegmans “doesn’t have a timeline” for when the 95,000-square-foot store will open on Richards Avenue in Norwalk.

“It usually takes a few years from when we announce an opening to when it actually opens,” Rivera said.

The property has been occupied by an office complex owned by MBI Inc., which Norwalk officials say plans to move to another site in the city. MBI manufactures a variety of collectibles like coins under the Danbury Mint brand and porcelain figurines.

Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets, said in a statement, “Each year we receive hundreds of requests from residents for a store in Connecticut, so we are thrilled to bring Wegmans to Norwalk and to get to know our new neighbours.

Rivera said Wegmans had been looking for a location in Connecticut for several years. The property is a mid-size location for Wegmans, according to Rivera. Wegmans has an 80,000 square foot store in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and has locations up to 140,000 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute.

Wegmans has established itself with six locations in eastern and central Massachusetts inside the 495 and 128 freeway corridor. The chain has also focused on the New York metro area, opening a store in 2020 in Harrison, NY

Wegmans opened its first store in New York City as part of the Brooklyn Navy Yard redevelopment project in October 2019. And the company said it would open a store in a former Kmart location at Astor Place at 770 Broadway during the second semester 2023.

Rivera said it’s too early to tell if the grocery chain will open other stores in Connecticut. Wegmans has 106 stores in seven states and has more than 50,000 employees.

Opening a store in Norwalk puts Wegmans in direct competition with Connecticut’s upscale grocery chain, Stew Leonard’s, which got its start as a small dairy in 1969. This store is located across next to Norwalk, at 100 Westport Ave., and is one of six Stew Leonard locations, including two in Connecticut.

Donald Klepper-Smith, economist at DataCore Partners, said Wegmans’ decision to enter the Connecticut market through Norwalk “is the marriage of a good brand and a lucrative market in Fairfield County.”

“It’s a good starting point for them in Connecticut — that’s where the money is,” Klepper-Smith said. “And it’s a home run for consumers. I can see them considering Wegmans as a destination retail location. »

[email protected]