'Employees First, Customers Second': Wegmans' Work Culture|Human Resource|Organization Behavior|Case Study|Case Studies

'Employees First, Customers Second': Wegmans' Work Culture

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB095
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1916-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Wegmans Food Markets Inc.
Industry : Retail
Countries : The US

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An Employee-Friendly Company Contd...

Wegmans'culture was articulated in its philosophy 'Employees first, Customers second'– which analysts considered rather unusual in an environment where companies invested heavily in trying to win favor with customers.

However, in spite of its expressed preference for employees over customers, Wegmans was known for its high level of customer service, and had been identified by BusinessWeek, another leading business magazine, as one of its 'Customer Service Champs'in 20078.

This seemed to justify Wegmans'belief that if the employees were happy, the customers would be too.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

Background

Wegmans was founded in 1916, by brothers Walter and Jack Wegman, as a small family-owned food store in Rochester, New York State. It was initially called the Rochester Food and Vegetable Company, and operated out of the Wegmans'house. In the early 1920s, the Wegmans moved the store to a new location and expanded the product range to make it a full-fledged grocery store selling fresh produce, bakery goods, and canned goods. The store also had a small cafeteria.

In the early 1930s, the Wegmans changed the format of their store, introducing the self-service concept. The new store was incorporated as Wegmans Food Markets Inc., and was very popular in the New York region. Wegmans featured a lot of things that were considered innovative at that time, such as refrigerated food displays, a kiosk selling homemade candy, and a large cafeteria with a seating capacity of 300. Robert Wegman, son of Walter Wegman, became the president of the company in 1950. Under his leadership, Wegmans diversified into related businesses, acquiring an egg farm, developing an on-site meat processing center, and setting up a central bakery.

The company also set up a subsidiary called Wegmans Enterprises Inc. to manage real estate development, leasing, and property management. In 1969, Robert Wegman became the chairman and CEO of Wegmans. Wegmans expanded in the 1960s by opening stores at different locations in New York State. In the early 1970s, the company started setting up new stores...

Excerpts >>


8] Wegmans was ranked at #5 among the 25 companies identified by BusinessWeek as Customer Service Champs in 2007.

 

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