Case Study: Wegmans Powerful Employee Relation Practices

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The case study talks about the organization-employee relations practices at Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. As we all know Wegmans Food Markets, Inc is a renowned American supermarket chain company headquartered in Gates, New York.


Let’s go back to 1970, Wegmans developed 40K sq. ft. of stores to introduce the concept of “Mall in a Store”. The store was made to deal with gift cards, pharmaceutical products, and floral products which remained open for 24/7 time. Additionally, the company became the 3rd largest chain in the US to perform E-cash registers with the help of an optical scanner system in 1972. In 1974, Wegman acquisition of Bilt-Rite Chase-Pitkin, Inc., which was working on the business model of hardware, landscape material, millwork, garden, and building supplies. The company focused on enhancing the production supply chain by establishing Chase-Pitkin stores linked to existing Wegmans stores.


The introduction of this strategy arises new challenges for the organisation from the competitors for the use of E-scanner pricing that violated local pricing laws. Wegmans argued over the challenge as product pricing increases customer costs due to the pricing of each item, as the electronic scanner was more accurate and efficient compared to price stickers. The organisation won the lawsuit in 1991 over the item pricing.

Secondly, Wegman faces several protests from environmental campaigns over the usage of plastic bags instead of paper bags. The organization said that plastic bags integrate into the dumps faster than paper bags. Further, the production of plastic was more energy and resource-efficient. In the end, Wegmans allowed its customers to choose the baggage they select. The organization created numerous dumping places for customers to dispose of plastic bags for the recycling process.


Wegmans has received an award for Best Food Network in America for being the top supermarket in 2007. The company maintained its position in the top 10 companies ranking in Fortune magazine of 100 best companies to work for by the employee.


It was shocking for other industries and competitors to see Wegmans in top ranking in the magazine as the company operates at a low-profit margin, tiresome work, underpayments, ordinary salary, and difficult customer interaction. Despite modest salary and rigid customer interaction, the company has a low employee turnover rate of 8% for 35000 employees. Organisation gaining 3rd place in the US in 2008 created buzz for CEO Daniel Wegman who said that “Every employee and customer of Wegmans should stand up and take a bow together”.

Employee-Relation Strategy

Wegman’s strategies offer practice job sharing and a solid work week. Plus, it offers telecommunication with an organised work culture that allows employees to embrace values towards the motto “Employee first, Customers second”. The belief helped the company to maintain care for their employees and show heavy concern towards the customer they offer.   

Learnings from Wegmans

Wegmans continuously focused on introducing new ideas and concepts in the traditional food industry to maintain customer and employee satisfaction. For instance, in 1996, the company launched a website with complete detailed information about health and recipes. Customers used to refer to Wegmans website as “Food Theatre”.

The food industry went towards a new trend of organic food with earnings of $17 billion, Wegmans opted for the new trend and started to own a 50-acre organic farm to develop best practices for health-conscious customers. The concept was shared with hundreds of farmers to supply fruits and vegetables directly to the company. Wegmans tries to build its image as a social and environmentally responsible company to build a sustainable competitive advantage for stakeholders and communities.

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Hanif, A., Khalid, W. and Khan, T.N., 2013. Relating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs with employee turnover and retention: case study of local telco. International Journal of Human Resource Studies3(2), p.51.

Pearson, K.L., 2012. Whole Foods Market™ Case Study: Leadership and Employee Retention. MBA Student Scholarship, pp.8-35.

Hanif, A., Khalid, W. and Khan, T.N., 2013. Relating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs with employee turnover and retention: case study of local telco. International Journal of Human Resource Studies3(2), p.51.