We went shopping at Trader Joe's and Wegmans to see which beloved grocer is better, and found Wegmans has a crucial advantage
- Trader Joe's and Wegmans are two grocers that both have cult followings.
- Both grocery stores also have unique store designs and fill their shelves with their own in-house brands.
- We visited both stores to see which was better and found that Wegmans, though the smaller chain, offered a superior store experience due to its expansive and high-quality hot food offerings.
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On the surface, Trader Joe's and Wegmans seem to have a lot in common. Both chains focus on store brands and have energized fans that rave about them.With 488 stores across the country, Trader Joe's is larger than Wegmans, which has just 101 stores in New England and the mid-Atlantic regions. But despite the disparity in size, both chains have cultivated some of the most loyal followings in the industry.Advertisement
Trader Joe's has some of the best sales per square footage in the grocery industry and prime locations in big cities like New York are regularly packed during peak shopping times. New Wegmans stores regularly draw thousands of fans - or Wegmaniacs - to their opening days. Most recently, more than 25,000 people showed up for the opening day of the newest Wegmans store, located in Brooklyn, New York, in October.
Beyond the hype, both grocery chains are known for their quality in-house brands that generally help keep prices low.Naturally, this is the head-to-head we've all been waiting for, the battle of the smaller, thematically-infused grocery chains.
After visiting both stores, the underdog was the clear winner. Wegmans won us over with its exceptional customer service and store design. But the real kicker was the numerous hot and ready-made takeout options.Here's what we saw: