Company News

Wawa Tests All-Digital Store in Philly’s University City

Large Drexel University location requires ordering by app or in-store touchscreens
Wawa convenience store Philadelphia
Photograph: Shutterstock

Drexel University students in Philadelphia are among the first in the nation to try Wawa’s remodeled all-digital-store experience, as the Pennsylvania-based convenience-store chain tests a frictionless concept on the university campus.

It’s also adding drive-thru lanes to more of its locations and building drive-thrus into plans for new locations, such as one nonfuel location it plans to open in Largo, Florida, in Tampa Bay area, Yahoo News reported.

Wawa’s University City location in Philadelphia requires customers to place orders using Wawa’s mobile app or in-store touchscreens, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. In-store associates behind the counter fill the orders.

“We are always testing new formats to provide the greatest level of convenience for our customers, some of which include our drive-thrus, our fly-thru mobile order windows and now a full-serve, digital experience format,” Wawa told the newspaper.

The company didn’t respond immediately to CSP’s request for comment.

While going all digital in University City, where Wawa has three locations, the company has announced its sixth Philadelphia store closing, the Philadelphia Business Journal said. In mid-July it said it was closing its Headhouse Square location at 2nd and Lombard streets, leaving five Wawa stores in the Center City area, down from 11 before COVID-19 began.

On July 26, the company reopened the remodeled all-digital 8,760-square-foot location at 3300 Market St. in the University City area of Philadelphia, which had closed for six days to prepare for the relaunch, said the Philadelphia Business Journal The location has both indoor and outdoor dining.

Wawa, which is emphasizing its foodservice business at its locations, has closed several City Center locations in Philadelphia, citing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the paper said.

The company, based in Wawa, Pennsylvania, has become a destination for popular foodservice items, such as hoagies, crispy chicken sandwiches, rice and beans, breakfast bowls and a full selection of coffee and creamers. This year, it rolled out freshly baked pizza made to order at 24-hour locations during afternoon and evening hours of 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.  

The company first opened a drive-thru location in 2020, as COVID-19 was beginning to prompt consumers to stay home. In 2022, it expanded its dinner offerings and launched its Wawa burger. It also offers dinner salads, as it strives to compete with quick-service restaurants (QSRs).

Wawa, with about 1,000 stores primarily in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C., has said it will expand through new construction in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee in the future.

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