Big crowd expected for Wegmans in Montgomeryville

Employee Mark Phelan pushes shopping carts from the parking lot outside the new Wegmans store in King of Prussia, Pa. on May 7, 2012. The store opened this past weekend. ( David Maialetti / Staff Photographer )
Employee Mark Phelan pushes shopping carts from the parking lot outside the new Wegmans store in King of Prussia, Pa. on May 7, 2012. The store opened this past weekend. ( David Maialetti / Staff Photographer ) (David Maialetti)
Posted: November 03, 2013

A onetime Boscov's department store at Montgomery Mall opens Sunday as a brand-new Wegmans supermarket, a 126,000-square-foot freestanding grocery built from the demolished ruins of the old anchor in Montgomery County.

Hordes of shoppers are expected to stroll through the supersize store in North Wales once doors open at 7 a.m., thanks partly to the Rochester, N.Y.-based company's slow pace of opening new locations: Only about three come on line each year, with far fewer in the Philadelphia area.

"We're expecting a huge turnout," store manager Keith Grierson said Friday as he and other officials put finishing touches on displays and awaited delivery of perishable merchandise, which was to be completed by Saturday night.

Demand for one of 200 full-time and 400 part-time jobs was so brisk that officials had to sift through more than 10,300 applications submitted between February and late October.

About the size of other Wegmans in the area, the store along Route 309 will house a full-service restaurant with a liquor license, as can be found at only three other local sites, in King of Prussia, Malvern, and Collegeville.

Exclusive to this store, however, is a freestanding fruit-and-grains section, as well as a sophisticated display case in the cheese section whose temperature controls are conducive to preservation and ripening of young cheeses.

The leased Montgomeryville location is 16th in Pennsylvania and 83d overall for the family-owned company, which also has stores in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The last to open locally was on North Gulph and Warner Roads in King of Prussia, in 2012.

Wegmans built the one-story structure at Montgomery Mall after demolishing a three-story Boscov's, with a basement level, on land owned by mall owner Simon Property Group Inc. The only other new Wegmans that has been publicly disclosed for suburban Philadelphia is planned at Route 202 near Route 1 in Concordville, said spokeswoman Jo Natale, but no opening date has been set as the company continues to finalize development details.

"We have a signed deal," Natale said. "It's just working its way through the process."


mpanaritis@phillynews.com

215-854-2431     @Panaritism

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