Which Way to Wegmans?

Customers having tough time finding new shopping center

It boasts some of the region’s most popular stores -- Wegmans, Costco, and Best Buy. And Prince George’s County officials have spent years courting tenants.

But getting to the new Woodmore Towne Centre at Glenarden is causing even a GPS to scratch its head.

The location of the shopping center is ideal, right off the Beltway on Route 202, Landover Road. But despite its proximity to thousands of commuters, many have a tough time just finding the entrance.

First of all, there are no signs for the shopping center on the Beltway. But if you do happen to get off at Route 202 things just get more confusing.

Go north on Landover Road, and you’ll see a “Shopping Center” sign. Unfortunately it leads you to the remains of the old Landover Mall, with its acres of empty parking lots.

Once you get yourself going back south on 202, you’ll hopefully see the partially tree-obscured, new shiny sign for Woodmore Town Centre, sans any mention of Costco. But which way do you turn? Turn left on St. Joseph’s Drive, and you’ll find yourself at a church.

“I looked over and I said, ‘Are we going to the church?’” one shopper told NBC Washington’s Jackie Bensen. “He said, ‘No we’re not going to the church. Just keep going around and bearing around.’”

“There definitely should be a sign,” another shopper told Bensen.

And don’t expect to get any help from your GPS. NBC Washington searched for local grocery stores while parked in the Wegmans parking lot at Woodmore in a newly updated GPS. The result it gave for the closest store: a Safeway more than a mile away.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker pointed out to Bensen that Woodmore isn’t completed yet. But he says he recognizes all the work it took to get major retailers to the county, and if more signs need to go up to draw more attention, it will happen.

“There are a lot of people coming [from] outside of Prince George’s County in order to shop there,” Baker told Bensen. “So certainly we want to make sure it is easier for them to come there and spend their money.”

Of course, the lack of signs also eliminates an entire niche of shoppers: the impulse buyer.

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