ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Wegmans Food Markets here has doubled the size of its sushi bar and moved it into the spotlight at its Pittsford, N.Y., prototype store.
The sushi bar, operated by Advanced Fresh Concepts, Compton, Calif., had previously been relegated to an in-line position that put it in the corner, against the wall.
In that spot, it had occupied no more than 4 feet, SN noted on a visit to the 130,000-square-foot store shortly after it opened last fall.
But last month, sushi was moved out to a prominent island location that's seen immediately upon entering the Market Cafe at the store here. It now occupies an estimated 10 feet and is designated by a colorful overhead sign, proclaiming, "Fresh Sushi."
Related items such as sushi cookbooks and sushi kits are merchandised at the new spot, and the sushi bar's new prominence appears to be stirring up business, according to a local observer. "I saw more people around it. I'm amazed at the number of people buying their kids sushi. I saw a mother with a five- or six-year-old choosing their own sushi," the observer said.
Another Wegmans shopper said the sushi bar's former obscure positioning at this store was uncharacteristic. The 56-unit chain has AFC-operated sushi bars in other selected units.
"They also spread out the made-to-order cooking stations more and have better defined them with bright overhead signs," a local source said.