Wawa's New Lodi Store Loaded With Firsts
Chain's first Bergen County, N.J., site features its first self-serve lottery terminal in state
LODI, N.J. -- Wawa Inc. has announced a milestone in its company's history--the grand opening of its newest northern New Jersey convenience store, signifying Wawa's first store in Bergen County, N.J. Located in Lodi, this store is the third Wawa store to open in 2013 in the North Jersey region.
As a first for both Wawa and the Garden State, the new Wawa store will feature Wawa's first self-serve lottery terminal in New Jersey.
During the grand-opening event on Oct. 4, local officials, heroes, charitable partners and community members joined Wawa for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, parade of Wawa's history and values, sampling of Wawa products and a charitable hoagie building competition featuring Lodi firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs).
The event also continued Wawa's partnership with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey through Wawa's Lending a Helping Hoagie Campaign. As Wawa opens each new store in northern New Jersey, it has committed to donating a portion of hoagie sales for the first northern New Jersey stores (up to $5,000 per store) to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, which will be earmarked for the Kids' Cafe program. Wawa has also committed to donating $1,000 to two local Lodi food pantries to help them restock before the holidays and further help fight hunger in the community.
"We couldn't be more passionate about helping end hunger with our new beginnings in Lodi," said Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president and CEO. "As we continue our expansion throughout the Northern Jersey market it's exciting to not only bring our unique brand of appetizing convenience throughout the state and to build on our community partnerships, but to continue to innovate and evolve with offerings such as selling lottery products. For our North Jersey customers, we are excited to give their dreams a chance."
Lodi Mayor Marc N. Schrieks, Wawa's director of store operations Jim Shortall and Wawa's vice president of store operation, Sal Mattera spoke at the event.
"Jersey is our home market, and it's been amazing to see how quickly northern New Jersey residents have come to rely on us to simplify their lives and become their home away from home," said Mattera. "We couldn't be more excited to expand into Lodi with new innovations for the state of NJ, and to continue our journey North with the upcoming opening of our Avenel store in November."
The Lodi store will be the first Wawa in New Jersey to offer lottery tickets to customers for all lottery games including Powerball, Mega Millions and instant tickets. Wawa has self-service lottery machines in all 242 Pennsylvania and all 60 Virginia stores. During the past year in Virginia and Pennsylvania, contributions--as a result of ticket sales in Wawa stores to Virginia education and older Pennsylvanians--have reached more than $37.2 million through lottery sales. In New Jersey, the lottery proceeds will benefit education and other institutions.
Wawa will install self-service lottery terminals in four additional new Wawa stores and 20 existing stores in New Jersey by the end of the year with a full rollout statewide scheduled for 2014.
This past January, Wawa opened its first Hudson County, N.J., store in Kearny, its first store in Elizabeth in April, and now Lodi and Avenel by year's end. Wawa will begin to enter additional northern North Jersey counties in 2014 and 2015, it said. Throughout the North Jersey market, Wawa plans to have more than 10 stores by the end of 2015, focusing on new market areas north of the Raritan River, including two additional stores in Bergen County in 2014 –in Hackensack and Garfield.
The new stores will each employ nearly 60 associates, all of which are new positions brought to the area through the development of the stores. Associates in these full and part-time positions will not only receive competitive salaries and health benefits but will have the opportunity to be enrolled in Wawa's employee stock ownership plan.
Wawa, based in Wawa, Pa., is a chain of more than 600 convenience retail stores (300 offering gasoline) located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia and Florida.