- Danny Wegman announced that his daughter, Colleen Wegman, has been named president and CEO of Wegmans Food Markets. He will assume the role as the company's chairman, the company said in a statement.
- Colleen Wegman joined Wegmans in 1991 and was named president in 2005 by the late Robert Wegman, her grandfather.
- “The time has come to create a structure for the future that will allow us to remain strong, vibrant and family-owned," said Danny Wegman. "I have no doubt that our company will be in good hands.”
Wegmans, a 92-store supermarket chain with stores in six states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, is a popular chain that has attracted devoted followers by putting a premium on selection, cleanliness and customer service. The grocer, routinely named one of the best companies to work for by Fortune magazine, has extensive pre-packaged meals popular with busy families, along with pizzas, subs and a dining area. Some locations even offer dry cleaning, movie rental and childcare.
By choosing to go in-house with its new CEO, the family-owned grocer is picking someone who has been at the retailer for more than a quarter century and is intricately familiar with what has made Wegmans successful. She was responsible for developing the store's Nature's Marketplace, a store-within-a-store concept that grouped healthy, natural and specialty foods into one place.
The insight could be especially valuable as the grocer, similar to other food retailers, faces threats from Amazon, meal-kit delivery services such as Blue Apron and an influx of other brick-and-mortar chains.
The first 20 of Lidl's U.S. stores will be opening this summer, and will be followed by another 80 within a year. Publix, Kroger and other grocers are expanding their operations, and in some cases entering areas where Wegmans has long dominated. They often employ many of the same tactics that made Wegmans a winner — including top-notch customer service — to woo shoppers.
While naming another Wegman to the company's top post is far from a sure thing, it's the best option for the 101-year old grocer that is going strong now, but will likely face its share of challenges in the increasingly competitive grocery industry.