Wawa was revealed to be among the Top 10 Retail Brands to Watch in 2023, a study based on geospatial, psychographic and foot-traffic data from Placer.ai, an analytics platform based in Los Altos, California.
- Wawa is No. 9 on CSP’s 2022 Top 202 ranking of convenience store chains by store count.
The post-pandemic shopping boost collided with inflation, an increase in fuel prices and the threat of a recession, according to the report. The top 10 brands to watch in 2023 have potential to expand in underserved markets, capitalize on shifts in consumer preferences and double down on value pricing to appeal to bargain hunters.
Wawa has seen an increase in foot traffic and average visits per store across its seven-state reach. Wawa locations in New Jersey, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., saw the largest increases, with 48%, 42.2% and 50.1% more visits, on average, than in 2019, while the stores in the remaining states all saw average visit per venue growth between 34.3% and 41.2%.
As a result, the chain continues to expand; Wawa plans to open locations in four more states, including Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The company intends to operate 1,800 locations by 2023, according to Chris Gheysen, CEO of Wawa.
Customer loyalty has also been increasing. Between July and November 2022, the share of loyal customers—customers returning to a Wawa location more than twice in a given time period—increased by 4.5% when compared to the same period in 2019.
The remaining nine retailers featured on the report include Whataburger (San Antonio), Bob’s Discount Furniture (Manchester, Connecticut), Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment (Dallas), Hibbett Sport (Brimingham, Alabama), Five Below (Philadelphia), Boot Barn (Irvine, California), Grocery Outlet Bargain Market (Emeryville, California), Altar’d State (Maryville, Tennessee) and Total Wine & More (Bethesda, Maryland).
Wawa, based in Wawa, Pennsylvania, has more than 950 c-stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.
Placer.ai is a foot traffic analytics platform based in Los Altos, Calif., providing insights into property success, to help industries such as retail, commercial real estate, hospitality, economic development and more maximize offline activities.
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