The Wegmans supermarket chain has stopped selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in all of its stores. This has led to many different reactions from customers.
Some are pleased and some feel that their right to make a choice has been denied. "As a company, we respect a person's right to smoke, but we also understand the destructive role smoking plays in health," said Danny Wegman, CEO of the chain, based in Rochester, NY.
The company had already been charging up to 50 percent more for cigarettes than other stores, primarily since it did not accept promotions or advertising from the tobacco companies in its stores. It operates 71 stores: 49 in New York State, 12 in Pennsylvania, seven in New Jersey, two in Virginia and one in Maryland.
The upscale grocery chain is known for its huge selection and extensive assortment of pre cooked take out, as well as fresh foods. It had $4.1 billion in sales in 2006 and employs more than 36,000 people.
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