Within 20 years, Wawa went from not selling any gasoline to being the No. 2 brand in market efficiency—a metric that measures the effectiveness of a fuel brand, according to CSP and OPIS’ Fuels 50. With more than 500 fueling locations (out of more than 750 stores) in six states today, Wawa has become as well-known for value-priced gasoline as it has for high-quality hoagies. Overseeing it all is Brian Schaller, who was promoted to senior vice president of real estate and fuel in 2017.
Norman Turiano, principal of Turiano Strategic Consulting, Cape Coral, Fla., worked with Schaller for 10 years at Wawa, where he last was head of fuel business development. Turiano cites Schaller’s accounting and finance background at Deloitte & Touche, and his ability to grasp abstract concepts from myriad viewpoints. He also praised Wawa’s response in Florida to Hurricane Irma, and how it showed “its commitment to be there when customers need them most.”
Wawa is also determined to win market share in Florida. In 2017, Wawa took ownership of a Jones Act-compliant fuel barge, which will allow it to supply its growing Florida network of stores—set to hit 140 locations by the end of 2017—with 17,000 barrels of gasoline per day.
Other innovative moves include the addition of Tesla Superchargers and testing of alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and the ethanol blends E15 and E85.
The biggest sign of Wawa’s fuel success? In 2017, it sold 2.4 billion gallons of gasoline, granting it about 2% share of the national market.
Despite Schaller’s considerable efforts, he credits Wawa’s leadership for its fuel dominance, mentioning Chairman Dick Wood and his brother George Wood, also a board member.
“Dick and George have always ‘thought big’ when it comes to our entry into the fuel landscape in 1996,” says Schaller, pointing out that it was Dick Wood who decided the chain should introduce fuel.
“The company and Dick and George have provided me the opportunity to grow beyond my accounting background into new and exciting areas to make a difference in the long-term future of the company,” Schaller says. “For that, I will always be grateful to them.”
17,000—Gallons of fuel per day that Wawa’s new barge will ship to its Florida sites from the Gulf Coast