Wawa is expanding into North Carolina, and the convenience-store retailer broke ground on its first store in the Tar Heel State in Kill Devil Hills on May 12 with an event that included company executives, local officials, VIP customers and mascot Wally Goose.
The company expects to open the Kill Devil Hills store in first-quarter 2024, company spokesperson Lori Bruce told CSP Daily News.
- Wawa is No. 9 on CSP’s 2023 Top 40 update to the2022 Top 202 ranking of convenience store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2023 Top 202 in June.
The event also included check presentations to the Coast Guard Foundation and Dare County Special Olympics, each receiving a $3,000 donation from Wawa and the Wawa Foundation.
Over the next five years, Wawa plans to open 35 stores across North Carolina east of I-95, including in the Wilson and Greenville markets, according to a report by OBX Today.
“To build each store, we will invest approximately $6.5 million and employ, on average, 140 contractors and local partners,” the company told the news outlet. “Once open, each store will employ, on average, 35 to 40 associates, creating more than 2,000 new jobs because of the expansion. Overall, Wawa projects at least 50 stores in the state over the next eight to 10 years.”
Previously the company also announced that it plans to extend its footprint into the Nashville, Tennessee, market in 2025. Wawa also said it plans to launch its first convenience stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, also in 2025. Wawa revealed that Noblesville is the location of its first Indiana store. The state of Ohio is also gaining its first Wawa store, on the south border of Liberty Township. The retailer also plans to open 40 stores throughout its Mid-Atlantic operating area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., in 2023. The chain also has stores in Florida.
By 2030, Wawa hopes to have approximately 1,800 locations, CEO Chris Gheysens said in 2022. The Wawa, Pennsylvania-based chain recently opened its 1,000th store. The chain operates in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, Baltimore-based c-store chain Royal Farms opened its first store in North Carolina, in Grandy, in early May.
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