Company News

Wawa to Add 40 New Stores in Central Pennsylvania by 2029

Convenience-store chain will invest a total of approximately $280 million to expand in region
wawa ground breaking

Commemorating its 60th anniversary as a retailer this month, Wawa plans to open 40 new convenience stores in central Pennsylvania by 2029.

Wawa broke ground this week in Dauphin County at an intersection in Middletown, which is located just outside Harrisburg, the commonwealth’s capital,  where the company held a community partnership event to announce the chain's entrance into central Pennsylvania.

“It’s official. Wawa is spreading our wings to reach Central Pennsylvania, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share details of our exciting growth plans with our newest soon-to-be neighbors!” said Brian Schaller, president of Wawa.

At the event, VIP customers, state and local officials and community partners received a preview of Wawa’s plans for the central Pennsylvania market, which will include stores in Middletown, York, Dover, Williamsport, Hanover and Enola in late 2024. Wawa continues to build a pipeline of sites in the region and is currently working towards having up to 12 stores open in Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lycoming, Northumberland, Union and York Counties by the end of 2025, it said. Over the next five years, Wawa plans to have up to 40 stores, opening approximately five to seven a year to serve the central Pennsylvania market as it continues to expand its footprint and reach new Pennsylvania markets along the Susquehanna River.

To build each store, Wawa will invest approximately $7 million (about $280 million in total for the 40 stores) and employ, on average, 140 contractors and local partners, it said. Once open, each store will employ an average of 35 associates, with Wawa expecting to create 1,400 new long-term jobs as a result of expansion in the region.

  • Wawa is No. 10 on CSP’s 2024 Top 40 Update to the 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2024 Top 202 ranking in the June issue of CSP magazine and in CSP Daily News.

Pennsylvania isn’t the only state Wawa is eyeing growth. This year, the company plans to open new stores in Alabama and Georgia, and it will open its first store in North Carolina, in Kill Devil Hills, on May 16. Over the next 10 or more years, Wawa plans to build at least 80 stores across North Carolina markets, with the first eight to 10 stores opening in 2024 and up to 15 stores opening in 2025.

Wawa, which has about 1,040 stores, plans to double its store count by 2030, CEO Chris Gheysens has said.

Earlier this week, business review platform Yelp named Wawa as fifth in its inaugural ranking of the 50 fastest-growing brands. Wawa was the only c-store brand to make the list. The business platform’s ranking of brands was based on net-new location openings, consumer interest and searches “to recognize the companies that have successfully executed growth strategies over the last year.”

Wawa Inc. is a privately held company that was founded in 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. The company now operates stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.

The ground-breaking ceremony is Wawa’s first expansion into territory mostly held by its Altoona, Pennsylvania-based rival, Sheetz.

When asked about entering Midstate, Schaller laid to rest any rivalry between the two convenience-store chains, according to WHTM. “We respect the Sheetz company immensely; we both do food and beverages. We compete with them today in about 60 stores in Virginia, Lancaster a little bit, so this won’t be the first time,” he told the news outlet.

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