Wegmans Food Markets will build a $175 million distribution center in Virginia’s Hanover County, situated along Sliding Hill and Ashcake roads in the town of Ashland, according to the grocer and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
Construction on the 1 million-square-foot warehouse complex comprising three buildings – one for dry groceries, one for refrigerated foods and one for frozen – is scheduled to begin in the spring, with the aim of being operational in 2022 with 500 employees. The company will add another 200 workers by the end of 2026. The project will receive more than $6 million in state and local grants, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
“This site has the right combination of everything we were looking for in terms of proximity to our stores and workforce, and is located in a commonwealth that we have partnered with for many years,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans. “Once it’s up and running, this facility will allow us to deliver products to our southernmost stores with increased speed and freshness and will help support our growth well into the future.”
“It’s a significant win when a business decides to create 700 full-time, well-paid jobs, and we are proud that a company of Wegmans’ stature has chosen to establish its major new operation in Hanover County,” noted Northam, who recently met with the company’s real estate and development officials in Rochester on a domestic marketing mission. “Virginia is a world-class transportation and logistics hub, and the location of this campus will greatly enhance Wegmans’ fast-growing East Coast distribution network.”
The site makes sense as a distribution hub for Wegmans, because it will place a facility closer to the retailer's stores in the area.
“The location [in Hanover] relative to our existing Virginia stores and planned growth in North Carolina will enable us to deliver products to our stores with increased freshness and speed, while also controlling our transportation costs,” David DeMascole, the chain’s director of network planning, told the Times-Dispatch.
Wegmans has been in Virginia since 2004 and currently operates 12 stores there. It opened its first North Carolina location in September, in Raleigh, with plans for at least five more stores in the Tar Heel State’s famed Research Triangle region.
The Virginia site will only be Wegmans’ third distribution center in its long history. The others are in its hometown and in Pottsville, Pa. Hanover County also boasts a Supervalu/UNFI distribution center on Richfood Road.
Family-owned Wegmans operates 101 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. The company is No. 16 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.