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Wawa at 60: 70 New Convenience Stores

Retailer touts 2024 store growth plans, including first locations coming to Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina
first wawa convenience store
Photograph courtesy of Wawa

Approaching its 60th anniversary as a retailer in April, Wawa is touting plans to open more than 70 new convenience stores in 2024, including its first stores in three new states: Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.

Wawa has more than 1,000 stores in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. The company previously announced that it will open 80 c-stores in North Carolina, the first eight in 2024, and up to 20 in Georgia, with the first under construction in late 2023. Wawa also has revealed plans for 160 stores across the Midwest in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. And it said it plans to grow its store count in existing markets.

Typically, Wawa c-stores are approximately 5,000 square feet with 12 multi-pump dispensers (MPDs) on average on its fuel court. The stores are fully equipped with built-to-order, fresh-food kitchens featuring its signature hoagies, as well as pizza and burgers; Sizzli hot breakfast sandwiches; bakery; coffee; specialty beverages (hot, cold, iced and frozen); and a line of dairy products, juices and teas.

Wawa also offers mobile ordering, curbside pickup, delivery and catering.

Every new store generates at least 35 new local long-term jobs per store and becomes a committed community partner supporting local and national causes through in-store fundraising campaigns, the company said.

“Since our first store opened its doors 60 years ago, it’s been an honor serving our communities with trusted quality products and convenience to most importantly offering comfort and camaraderie to local friends and neighbors,” said “Lead Goose” Chris Gheysens, president and chief executive officer of the Wawa, Pennsylvania-based retailer.

  • Wawa is No. 9 on CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by store count.

Wawa Inc., a privately held company, began in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Toward the end of the 19th Century, owner George Wood took an interest in dairy farming and the family began a small processing plant in Wawa, Pennsylvania, in 1902. The milk business was a huge success, and as home delivery of milk declined in the early 1960s, Grahame Wood, George’s grandson, opened the first Wawa Food Market on April 16, 1964, in Folsom, Pennsylvania, as an outlet for dairy products.

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