Wawa Ramping Up in Florida

Signing leases, starting construction in Orlando; chain also reaches fuel milestone

WAWA, Pa. -- Wawa Inc. is moving forward with its previously announced expansion into Florida, according to a report by The Orlando Business Journal. The retailer, which has indicated that it plans to open as many as 100 convenience stores in the Sunshine State, said that it has signed more than 10 leases in the last eight months in the Orlando market.

Other stores are planned for the Tampa Bay market. The company is seeking vacant land and existing stores at busy intersections along the Interstate 4 corridor, said the report.

Brian Pomykacz, regional real [image-nocss] estate manager, told the newspaper that site work should begin on the first set of stores in mid-August or September and construction should commence in the first part of 2012, with some store openings scheduled for summer 2012.

(Click here for previous CSP Daily News coverage of Wawa's Florida expansion plans.)

In other Wawa news, Howard Stoeckel said in his "Bird's Eye View" blog earlier this week that it has been 15 years since the company opened its first c-store with fuel on August 2, 1966, in Millsboro, Del.

He said, "We asked ourselves, 'If we build it, will they come?' Today, with 298 of our 588 stores offering fuel and customers that pump more than a billion gallons of gasoline each year, the answer is a resounding, 'Yes--they certainly will!"

In 2011, the chain also reached a new fuel milestone when the number stores with fuel surpassed the number without fuel.

Stoeckel added, "Reaching this milestone in our history demonstrates our dynamic ability to embrace change, which has resulted in innovation and implementation of significant changes in our store design and product offering. Adding fuel to our offering sparked the creation of state-of-the-art gasoline stores, each equipped with a range of six to 10 multiple product dispensers. With this addition, our stores became a bit larger and our parking spaces more abundant. More than anything, we helped add simplicity the lives of our customers as they embraced this new convenience from the first day it was offered."

Click hereto read the full blog entry.Wawa, Pa.-based Wawa operates a chain of nearly 600 convenience stores throughout the five-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.