Monday, June 04, 2007

I got the news...

After years of consideration and speculation, it appears that grocery store giant Wegmans is officially coming to Columbia.

A crack tipster alerted me to the fact that the mega-grocer has submitted a site development plan for the piece of property at the intersection of McGaw Road and Snowden River Parkway (across from Apple Ford and currently home to the warehouse where The Wire is filmed).

This move has been a topic of news stories and blog posts for a while, but nothing concrete has ever been put forth until now.

Yet unknown is the impact the new store will have on Columbia's village centers, many of which rely on anchor grocery stores to bring in customers.

Even after all these years of discussion, I still don't think I have a strong sense of the Wegmans ripple effect. Certainly, many people from all over Howard County (and other counties) will choose to shop there, but how often? Enough to seriously hurt the village center grocers?

What about the new Harris Teeter coming to Kings Contrivance? Though not as big as Wegmans, it appeals to a similar demographic and will likely also generate traffic from a wider area than just its village.

Let's assume Wegmans becomes the grocery store of choice for enough people that the village center grocery stores start to suffer and, eventually, close. What happens then? How do we ensure our village centers can stay solvent? Obviously, villages have dealt with or are dealing with grocery-store-loss, but it seems to me the thinking done in these instances was based on the idea that a grocery store would always be a component of the village centers. Perhaps we need to adjust that assumption.

6 comments:

John B. said...

Hrm. Not sure how I feel about this.

I'm an Owen Brown resident and my first reaction is concern over having another inter-village grocery spot that could drive traffic away from the local Village Centers.

I wish there was a way it could be crowbarred into the Wilde Lake Village Center....

John B.

Dan Beyers said...

Dude, I totally missed your scoop. Mea culpa! and way to go....

Hayduke said...

Ha! No problem. Only another newsman would understand the importance and joy of the scoop.

Anonymous said...

Yes, good early June scoop. Early May's scoop on here - the 5/2 10:43 comment squeaked in front of the 5/3 Flier op-ed piece.

wordbones said...

Wait a minute.

What about my post on April 13th (Rethinking Wilde Lake Village Green)?

I think I scooped both of you!

-wb

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