Wawa Inc. operates more than 700 convenience stores throughout states in the Mid-Atlantic region: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. It also has expanded into Florida, in the Orlando and Tampa Bay areas, including a store on the campus of St. Petersburg College, with plans to enter southern Florida over the next five years, specifically Broward and Palm Beach counties. Miami-Dade county will follow in 2018.
The chain opened its first Florida store in July 2012 and projects it will open its 100th store in Florida in 2016. Its 71st store in Florida, and 700th overall, opened in mid-August 2015 in Bradenton. It plans another 120 stores in the state by 2022.
Wawa's annual revenue is about $9 billion. The chain has 23,000 associates and says it serves 400 million customers a year.
New Wawa stores feature 5,547 square feet of retail space and additional gasoline facility, as well as new in-store graphics, colors, restroom design and merchandising features.
|No. of Stores:||706|
|Average Store Size:||4,000+ sq. ft.|
|Rank Last Year:||15|
|States of Operation:||Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia|
Store exterior before
- Many older sites still feature the Wawa logo from the era in which they were built. “That’s out of date compared to what we’re doing with the new stores,” says Michelle Walsh, director of retail implementation.
- Legacy stores featured a stone base, albeit a more dated image than Wawa would like to present.
- Previously, when Wawa would remodel stores, the exteriors remained largely unchanged.
Store exterior after
- Remodeled fuel sites will get a “revitalized” fuel island with updated graphics and designs.
- As a part of the Wawa Remodel Program, store exteriors will receive a facelift that communicates Wawa’s heritage and where the brand is now.
- “The new stone columns speak to our stone lineage in a modern way,” says Mary-Rose Hannum, director of store design and customer experience.
- Once the Remodel Program is complete, all Wawa locations will feature the company’s current logo.
- “We’ve kept the signature ‘Wawa red’ featured prominently in the remodeled design as it’s a recognizable part of our brand,” says Hannum.
- As a c-store operator that was well ahead of the foodservice trend, fresh prepared food is nothing new for Wawa.
- Believe it or not, Wawa locations have had self-service kiosks for foodservice since 2001. Remodeled stores will receive upgraded kiosks.
- One complaint customers had about Wawa’s otherwise very well-received foodservice program was that it was difficult to determine where to pick up their orders.
- Unlike some parts of the stores, there will be “actual change” to the square footage of most remodeled foodservice counters, says Michael Walsh, director of retail implementation.
- In response to customer concerns, remodeled locations will include ample signage directing customers where to order and pick up their made-to-order food.
- “To increase awareness and compel customers to our beverage and foodservice areas, digital signage is being added,” Hannum says. “This also allows us to improve our nimbleness to communicate promotions.”
- Walsh says self-service coffee dispensers will not increase as part of the redesign. Instead, such a decision is based on an individual store’s traffic.
- In the coffee area—and across all parts of the store—Wawa is opting for lower-profile shelves than they currently use to promote a more open-air feeling.
- Full-service beverage areas will include espresso drinks, hand-spun milkshakes and proprietary “flurricanes.” Gheysens describes the cookies-and-cream milkshake as “out of this world amazing!”
- The beverage area is being expanded overall as Wawa looks to dedicate more labor to this part of the store.
- Though not featured in this image, the remodeled beverage areas are where the new Coca-Cola Freestyle machines will live. “It’s really brought a breath of fresh air to that area of the store,” Walsh says.
- Although the square footage will remain the same, the elimination of overhead tobacco–pack feeders frees up a lot of space. Walsh says this “really lightens up the whole area.”
- In a bit of visual magic, Wawa has managed to make the new checkout areas look a lot bigger without actually changing the footprint.
- The round checkout format has worked well for Wawa, so it will remain the same at remodeled locations.
- Though Walsh says “operationally, checkout functions very much the same,” remodeled locations will have new tools such as upgraded cabinets and keypads.
- As with the outside, store interiors will benefit from an upgraded “sleek, modern design.” The checkout area is no exception.
- Center displays will now boast LED lighting from underneath to better highlight various tobacco products.
- To keep the same number of tobacco SKUs without the overhead pack feeders, Wawa is adding shelves under the checkout counters.