AP NEWS

Weis Is Updating Its Markets

May 5, 2019

Weis Markets is about to start an expansion at its Wright Twp. store that will include adding a beer and wine cafe. Plans also include updating some of the store’s decor and replacing self-checkouts, said Weis spokesman Dennis Curtin.

Weis has received “terrific” customer response to the modern self-checkout options, he said.

“We’re in the business of giving customers options,” Curtin said. “Some prefer self-checkout while others want a cashier. We’re in the business of providing both.”

The goal is to finish the expansion project in Wright Twp. in the summer.

Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan H. Weis recently announced the company’s plans to invest $109 million in growth this year.

Plans include a new store in Bedminster in Bucks County as well as 14 store remodels, six fuel centers, supply chain and information technology investments, he said in a press release.

Curtin would not say where the 14 store remodels are because some of the projects are still going through the approval process.

“We’re reasonably certain they will be approved but do not get into specifics until we have all of our approvals,” he said.

In addition to its store in Wright Twp. Weis operates stores in Dallas, Duryea, Plains Twp., Nanticoke, West Hazleton, Berwick, Carbondale, South Abington Twp., Scott Twp., Mount Pocono, Honesdale, Hamlin, Hawley and in Eaton Twp. near Tunkhannock.

Founded in 1912, Weis Markets operates more than 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. According to Curtin, Weis has 67 beer and wine cafes in its Pennsylvania stores that feature imported and domestic wines as well as domestic, imported and craft beer.

There are beer and wine cafes in the stores in Dallas, West Hazleton, Berwick, Carbondale, South Abington Twp. and Eaton Twp.

“We continue to add beer and wine cafes in our stores where it’s practical and where we could get licenses,” Curtin said. “It’s just another option for customers and they have embraced it. They like the variety in our beer and wine cafes.”

The Sunbury-based food retailer’s sales increased to a record $3.5 billion in 2018 and its income from operations also rose by 9.4 percent year over year, Weis said.

He attributed Weis Markets’ progress to its store base and information technology investments. He also said its sales and operating income benefited from targeted holiday promotions through its loyalty marketing program, price optimization improvements and more efficient store-level inventory management.

Weis Markets offers online ordering with curbside pickup in 125 stores while 174 stores offer home delivery via Shipt, a leading online delivery service.

“Our e-commerce investments helped generate a 33.2 percent increase in our online sales,” Weis said in a statement. “Online ordering is a growing segment of our business that we expect to grow exponentially in the coming years.”

Like Weis, retail giant Walmart also recently announced plans to spend big, $83 million, on Pennsylvania store remodels and several customer-focused innovations this year.

The investment includes remodeling 15 Pennsylvania stores and expanding high-tech services like online grocery pickup and delivery as well as installing 23 pickup towers, 16-foot tall high-tech vending machines that dispense online orders with the simple swipe of a smartphone.

The Walmart store remodels announced are outside Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, but a store in Wilkes-Barre Twp. recently replaced and added more self-checkout options as well.

 

Contact the writer: dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2115, @CVAllabaugh