I can't believe I didn't think of it before! What if we figured out how to bring Wegmans to the Navy Yard? For those of you who have never had the opportunity to spend any time in Buffalo or Rochester ("upstate" to NYers, but "Western New York" to natives), Wegmans is an amazing supermarket that offers all kinds of stuff -- think a slightly more reasonably priced Fairway, plus stuff like lawn chairs, books and magazines, a pharmacy , bulk candy and granola, etc. (They also have stores in PA, NJ, VA and MD)
The best part, though, about attaining a Wegmans would be the employment benefits for the community. Sure, any large store that opens in our area will offer job opportunities for the locals. Wegmans, however, has been on Fortune's "Top 100 Businesses to Work For" for the last ten years:
"The 100 Best Companies to Work For" list is compiled for FORTUNE by Robert Levering and Milton Moskowitz of the Great Place to Work Institute in San Francisco, based on two criteria: an evaluation of the policies and culture of each company, and the opinions of the company's employees. The latter is given more weight; two-thirds of the total score comes from employee responses to a 57-question survey which goes to a minimum of 400 randomly selected employees from each company. More than 100,000 employees from 446 companies participated in the survey this year, making this by far the largest simultaneous employee survey in corporate America. The survey asks about things such as attitudes towards management, job satisfaction, and camaraderie within the organization. The remaining one-third of the score is based on an evaluation of each company's demographic makeup, pay and benefits programs, and culture. Companies are scored in four areas: credibility (communication to employees), respect (opportunities and benefits), fairness (compensation, diversity), and pride/camaraderie (philanthropy, celebrations). Wegmans offers great benefits for its employees, including generous scholarship awards for high school students on the college track. Well-treated employees = happy employees = high standards of service = a pleasant shopping experience = happy customers. In addition to offering reasonably priced healthy groceries nearby, why not also offer stellar job and training opportunities to the community as well?
They were also named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies.
If we're going to bring a giant supermarket to our neighborhood, why not recruit one that offers real benefits for everyone - shoppers and employees alike! I mean, isn't that why service at Duane Reade is so shitty? Because they offer crap benefits to their employees? This could be a golden opportunity to work with Wegmans and do something amazing for our community.
Who's with me? BRING WEGMANS TO BROOKLYN!!!