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UPDATE: Center City Wawa Will Open Ahead of Pope’s Visit

Convenience-store chain accelerates debut to be ready for event

PHILADELPHIA --Wawa Inc. will be opening its Center City flagship location in Philadelphia on September 18, a few days before Pope Francis’ visit for the World Meeting of Families starts on September 22, officials with the convenience-store chain told The Philadelphia Business Journal.

Wawa Pope Francis

The retailer originally planned to open the more than 5,000-square-foot convenience store—the chain’s first with indoor searing--“early November.” It hoped to accelerate the building schedule to open the location in time for the Pope’s visit.

He will be visiting the United States for the first time. Along with attending the World Meeting of Families celebration, he will hold a Papal Mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway on September 27.

The city expects about two million people to come to Philadelphia during the event, estimated to have an economic impact of $417.8 million. About $390 million of that will come from Pope Francis’ visit alone, said the report.

In June, Wawa CEO ChrisGheysens served on a 35-person delegation to Rome headed up by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter ahead of the World Meeting of Families, reported

Wawa, based in Wawa, Pa., has nearly 700 convenience stores, approximately 440 offering gasoline, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. The stores offer a large fresh food service selection, including Wawa brands such as built-to-order hoagies, freshly brewed coffee, hot breakfast sandwiches, built-to-order specialty beverages and an assortment of soups, sides and snacks.

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