Following the chain’s announcement of 40 new convenience stores in Kentucky, Wawa is touting its expansion into Ohio, with plans to open approximately 60 c-stores across the region over the next 8-10 years. With the first groundbreakings beginning in mid-2024, the company projects the first stores to open by mid-2025, with the intention of opening up to 10 locations that year, 10 additional stores in 2026 and five stores each year thereafter.
The retailer shared new details on its expansion into the Buckeye State for the first time during its two-stop Community Partnership Day Tour, including Cincinnati and Dayton.
So far, Wawa has more than 16 Ohio sites under contract across Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Greene, Hamilton, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties. These projected stores are currently making their way through the permitting and approval process, and Wawa will announce specific locations and estimated timing for the first store openings in Ohio once these processes are complete.
Wawa teams continue to look for sites throughout the state market.
To build each store, Wawa will invest approximately $7 million and employ, on average, 140 contractors and local partners. Once open, each store will employ, on average, 35 associates, with Wawa expecting to create more than 2,200 new jobs as a result of its expansion, it said. Wawa associates own 39% of the Company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
The Community Partnership Day officially introduced Wawa to the community and allowed Wawa leaders to connect with hundreds of new customers, as well as local officials and partners. In addition, attendees received a glimpse of new store design renderings and had the opportunity to hear about the Wawa story, Wawa’s unique offering and Wawa’s commitment to its new Midwest region communities, including new partnerships and community support of local organizations.
“We were thrilled to share our ‘flight plan’ for Ohio and reveal, for the very first time, our exciting expansion plans, renderings and more with our newest soon-to-be neighbors,” said Joe Collins, director of store operations for Wawa. “Our Community Partnership Day events also gave us the opportunity to meet new community members and talk a little bit about our history and what makes Wawa such an ideal fit for communities in this region.”
He added, “As we get closer to our grand openings in 2025, we will be sharing even more details on our growth in Ohio and connecting with more customers, communities, partners and nonprofit organizations.”
At the Community Partnership Day events, Wawa also encouraged guests to enjoy a Taste of Wawa, including samples of freshly made hoagies, freshly brewed coffee and other handcrafted beverages as it debuted its new Wawa Community Care Beverage Vehicle. Altogether, Wawa distributed thousands of samples of Wawa strawberry smoothies and Wawa Dragon Fruit Refreshers, hundreds of cups of Wawa regular and flavored coffees and hundreds of hoagie samples.
Through the Wawa Foundation, the company also announced contributions to four regional community partners: The American Red Cross, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the USO and The National Air Force Museum Foundation totaling more than $20,000.
Based in Wawa, Pennsylvania, privately held Wawa has approximately 1,000 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.
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