Wegmans closing Massachusetts mall location

The store, located outside Boston in Natick, Massachusetts, was the grocer’s first multi-level store in a major mall.
  • Wegmans is closing its Natick, Massachusetts, store.
  • The store opened in 2018 and is located in a traditional shopping mall. 
  • Wegmans is still in the process of opening new stores, including a Manhattan store opening this year.

Wegmans will close its Natick, Massachusetts, store, citing poor financial performance. The store opened in 2018.  

According to a June 1 release, the store, located in the Natick Mall about 20 miles outside the city of Boston, will close later this summer. The grocer said it would provide an exact date of closure at a later time. The grocer said all 142 full-time and 223 part-time employees would retain employment with Wegmans and were being offered positions at nearby stores.

“Making these decisions is never easy,” said Brien MacKendrick, human resources director for Wegmans’ New England division, in the release. “However, we do it for the long-term benefit of our people, our customers and our communities. Unfortunately, with this non-traditional location we are unable to attract enough customers for our business model to work.”

The store was Wegmans first store to open in a traditional shopping mall, replacing a JCPenney store that closed in 2015. At 134,000 square feet, the Natick Mall store is one of the largest stores in the grocer’s fleet, according to Wegmans. In total, Wegmans has five other locations in the greater Boston area, the release said. Wegmans says it has no plans to close other stores. 

The closure comes as the grocer, based in Rochester, New York, continues to expand its presence. It will open its first Manhattan store later this year, taking over a former Kmart store. Its first New York City store opened in Brooklyn in 2019. In January, Wegmans opened its 15th store in Virginia: an 85,000-square-foot store in Reston. Last fall, it opened its first location in Delaware, and other recently opened stores include stores in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Virginia. The grocer is also planning to open its first stores in Long Island, New York, and Connecticut.

According to Dunhumby’s most recent annual Retailer Preference Index, Wegmans ranked fourth as consumers’ favorite grocer in the U.S. behind H-EB, Costco and Amazon. It was the third year in a row that Wegmans came in fourth place. Wegmans operates more than 110 stores across the East Coast, including in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware and Washington, D.C. 

Shifting population patterns and consumers’ flexible work schedules, in larger part driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, have provided opportunities for suburban grocery-anchored centers to draw traffic.

“As retailers try and perfect their approaches to unified retail, or the seamless integration of physical and digital assets, using suburban markets as testing locations could provide key insights into how and when consumers want to shop with retailers by channels,” said Elizabeth Lafontaine, Retail Leader Pro’s chief retail analyst.