'Employees First, Customers Second': Wegmans' Work Culture|Human Resource|Organization Behavior|Case Study|Case Studies

'Employees First, Customers Second': Wegmans' Work Culture

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB095
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1916-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Wegmans Food Markets Inc.
Industry : Retail
Countries : The US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Wegmans Way

One of the reasons for Wegmans'popularity with customers was the in-store experience. Typically, Wegmans stores were much larger than regular supermarkets, ranging between 80,000 and 130,000 square feet in size. The stores had wide aisles and a spacious feel. Wegmans tried to replicate the ambience of an open air market in its stores. All the produce was laid out in the open in attractive displays...

Working at Wegmans

Wegmans had one of the best retention rates in the retail industry in the US. Reportedly, the average length of employment for full-time employees at the company was more than 10 years, and the average tenure even for part-time employees exceeded five years.

According to analysts, potential employees were attracted to Wegmans because they knew that they would be treated well at the company, and be encouraged to play an active role in creating value for customers.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

According to the Northeast Human Resource Association (NEHRA), a major HR association operating in the New England region of the US, the reason behind Wegmans'success in retaining employees was that employees felt 'intense job satisfaction achieved by meaningful interaction with both customers and management.'...

Looking Ahead

According to analysts, one of the keys to Wegmans'success in keeping its culture strong and consistent was the company's slow pace of expansion. Wegmans typically opened only two or three new stores every year. This allowed it enough time for preparation, and employee training. Wegmans never opened a new store until it was fully prepared. For instance, it postponed a new store opening in Dulles in Virginia to February 2004, even when the store could have been opened it in November 2003 in time for the holiday season, in order to extend the period of training for employees.


Exhibit I: Wegmans'Ranks on the 'Best Companies to Work For'list.
Exhibit II: Supermarket News Top 75 2007 – 2007's Top 75 North American Food Retailers
Exhibit III: Wegmans Values


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