Rochester, N.Y. >> Wegmans Food Markets has been ranked No. 2 for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies, according to the 2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) Study. Wegmans is a family-owned supermarket chain with 95 stores in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region — including six stores in the tri-county region.
The Annual Reputation Quotient study begins with a nomination phase where survey respondents are asked to identify 100 companies with the most “visible” reputations. The final list of the 100 most visible companies in the U.S. is measured in the Reputation Quotient ratings section. This year’s rating interviews took place online between Dec. 11, 2017 and Jan. 12, 2018 among 25,800 U.S. adults to obtain an average of approximately 300 ratings per company, according to a press release.
Six dimensions are measured: social responsibility, emotional appeal, products and services, vision and leadership, financial performance and workplace environment.
“The RQ 2018 study reveals that consumers are increasingly interested in what a company stands for, how they engage with society and their community,” said The Harris Poll CEO, John Gerzema. “In this new world, reputation is a verb.”
Wegmans ranked No. 1 for Workplace Environment and was the only company to rank in the top 5 for all six dimensions. Wegmans was also one of only 10 companies to score an ‘excellent’ rating (80+) for social responsibility, ranking No. 2 in that dimension with a score of 82.3, according to the release.
“We are so thankful for our employees, who make it possible for Wegmans to be recognized in this way,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO. “They make us proud and very grateful for the reputation they have earned on our behalf.”
This is not the first time Wegmans has made the list, according to Jo Natale, spokeswoman, who said the company first made the list in 2015, when it was ranked No. 1. Wegmans was not on the list in 2016, but returned in 2017 and 2018 at No. 2.
“We’re regional with stores in six states, so the fact that we would even show up on a list of the top 100 in the country, is remarkable,” Natale said Wednesday.
Natale said the company is proud of how well it did across the categories of the poll, and she also gives the credit to the company’s employees.
“It comes down to them. When people visit our stores, that’s what they love the most — the experience — the customer service experience and it leaves an impression,” she said. “That is very much the philosophy of the Wegman family — you have to be a great place to work in order to be a great place to shop.”
Natale said the company invests in employee training, promotes from within and has built systems for two-way communication.
“We listen to employee feedback and respond. It has created a workplace with a family feeling. And for that reason people love shopping here,” she said.
Wegmans Food Markets Inc. is a family-owned supermarket company founded in 1916. The supermarket chain currently has 95 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. Natale added that by the end of the year that number will be 98. The company opens three to four stores each year – a “measured pace of growth by retail standards.”
Natale said there are two reasons for the measured pace of growth. The first is that each store is individually designed.
“Also, we hire 500 people to staff a new store, and the full-time employees come on as much as nine months before. You can’t open more than just a handful of stores each year if you’re going to approach it that way,” she said.
Wegmans has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 21 consecutive years. In 2018, Wegmans ranked No. 2 on the list.
There are Wegmans stores in Collegeville, Concordville, Downingtown, King of Prussia, Malvern and Montgomeryville.
The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ), identifies movement, trends and insights in a changing corporate reputation landscape. It quantifies reputation ratings for the 100 most visible companies in the U.S., as perceived by the general public.
The Harris Poll has been tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 and is now Insights & Analytics.
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