Wawa Seeking Sunshine

Chain poised for expansion in central Florida, Tampa Bay

WAWA, Pa. -- Wawa Inc. is lining up sites for expanding into the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas in Florida, according to a report by The St. Petersburg Times.

This move would be convenience retailer Wawa's first expansion south of Virginia, said the report. The company envisions opening up to 15 Central Florida locations in two years. "We've planned this new journey south for a long time," Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce told the newspaper.

"We have been searching for the next new 'Wawaland' and doing our due diligence in several markets, Florida being one of them," [image-nocss] Bruce told CSP Daily News earlier this year. "In the coming months, we will begin to make real-estate decisions in a new market outside of our five-state mid-Atlantic operating area."

Wawa convenience stores typically offers customers numerous Wawa brands, such as the award-winning Wawa coffee (more than 195 million cups sold annually); the Sizzli, Wawa's hot breakfast sandwich; a full-service deli; Wawa Bakery; Wawa's built-to-order hoagies (more than 52 million sold annually); and Wawa's beverage line of dairy products, juices and teas, among many other products.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the stores stock 6,000 items, four times as many as a 7-Eleven, the newspaper said.

Direct competitors on gasoline prices include Hess and RaceTrac, the report said.

Wawa currently operates approximately 575 c-stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia. Employees own 29% of the company through a stock-ownership plan.

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