Wegmans Food Markets nixes babysitting service

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Wegmans Food Markets nixes babysitting service

Wkids offered free supervision of children between the ages of 3 and 9 for up to two hours.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets is officially closing its Wkids babysitting service, as the company continues to seek innovative ways of standing out from other grocers.

According to the Buffalo News, Wkids offered free supervision of children between the ages of 3 and 9 for up to two hours while parents shopped or used the store's café. However, the company is now wanting to offer a group of Family Experience programs, including kid-friendly movie nights, kids' cooking classes and yoga sessions, special events for Mother's Day and other holidays, story times and painting nights, according to the article.

"Certainly we’re finding space in our current store footprint to bring more services that are now in greater demand," Michele Mehaffy, the chain's consumer affairs manager in Buffalo, told the Buffalo News. "Of course, these happen to be services that many families use. To be honest, the number of families using the Wkids service has steadily declined over the past several years."

The news comes shortly after the company announced that it has inked a deal with Doordash to offer delivery of the grocer's prepared foods, including pizza, wings subs, soups, salads and several other items. Wegmans said its Wegmans Meals 2GO is now available at five stores (four in Rochester and one in Virginia) and will roll out to more than 40 stores by the end of this year, with more to follow in 2020. The retailer has been testing the concept the past year at a store in Pittsford, N.Y.

Wegmans Meals 2GO orders for lunch, dinner or anytime-in-between meals can be delivered through DoorDash within a roughly five-mile radius of participating stores, according to the company. Delivery is available on orders of $20 or more.

"We promise to 'make great meals easy,' and it doesn't get any easier than this," says Erica Tickle, Wegmans e-commerce group manager. “During the year-long pilot at our Pittsford store, we listened and learned, fine-tuned the app, and created a menu that had something for everyone at home or at work."

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