Raleigh Wegman’s: Does it live up to the hype?

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   It’s been months since Wegmans opened its doors, and Raleigh citizens ripped open their wallets, but the chain is continuing to thrive. The long-anticipated grocery store opened its doors to Raleigh with 3,000 eager customers waiting outside on Sunday, September 29 at 6:45 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than planned in order to accommodate all the customers who waited outside.

   Store manager Hallie Johnston commented on the successful opening.

   “We knew there was a lot of excitement, but the outpouring we saw yesterday was beyond anything we could’ve hoped for. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone who made our first day in North Carolina so special,” Johnston said.

   The hype of this grocery store has continued long past its debut in Raleigh, and new people are still discovering all it has to offer. The store is built on the model of low cost instead of coupons which brings many customers in to save on eggs, bread and other essentials. This is due, in large part, to their in-house Wegmans brand.

   However, while the lows deals are pleasing, the hot bars aren’t as fulfilling for some customers. Many have reservations about price versus the quality of the hot bars, saying that the prices were too high for the meager meal they received. Others specifically mentioned the subpar french fries and burgers as well.

   Some customers have been frustrated at the large crowds, saying that it makes it hard to see all the goods for sale. While many believed that the crowds would die down, the stores remain full. 

Still, Wegmans has an extremely loyal following. Long-time “Wegmaniac” and Raleigh resident Cheri McDonald celebrated the Wegmans opening months ago. 

   “Wegmans is not a grocery store. Wegmans is an experience,” McDonald said.

   She and eight other eager customers started tailgating at 10 p.m. the night before it opened. Most of the group had moved to Raleigh from areas up North and were eager to once again shop at their native grocery store. 

      Wegmans now has plans to open a total of six stores in the triangle, from Wake Forest to Chapel Hill.