Friday, October 7, 2022

[ALERT] Gas Station Known For Gourmet Grub to Enter Georgia in 2024

Wawa, the popular chain of convenience stores and gas stations, announced plans Wednesday to expand to Southern and Coastal Georgia. The chain plans to open its first Georgia store in 2024 with the potential for up to 20 additional stores in the market in the years to come. 

"Expanding to Georgia is a natural extension from the Florida panhandle and we look forward to serving more communities along the east coast," John Poplawski, Wawa's vice president of real estate said. 

The Wawa business began in 1803 as an iron foundry. In 1890, George Wood, an entrepreneur from New Jersey, moved to Delaware County, Pennsylvania; and it was there that he began the Wawa Dairy Farm.  The company opened their first Wawa Food Market in 1964 which eventually became the Wawa of today, known for its robust food offerings including freshly made sandwiches, hoagies, salads and more.  

Wawa is based in Chester Heights, Pennsylvania in Greater Philadelphia.

According to the company's website, Wawa is set to open 20 new stores by the end of the year bringing their 2022 total to more than 50 new locations.  In Florida, a market the company entered in July 2012 with a location in Orlando near SeaWorld, the company is slated to open another eight locations by year end, which will bring its total in the state to more than 250 stores!  

Despite its size, New Jersey is currently Wawa's largest market with nearly 280 locations.  Overall, the company will (if all 2022 openings occur as planned) end the year with 998 locations.  In addition to Florida and New Jersey, Wawa also operates stores in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington D.C.  

This past March, Wawa announced plans to expand to North Carolina by 2024.  Later, in April, the company announced plans to open stores in the Florida Panhandle (including Panama City, Pensacola, and Tallahassee) and Mobile, Alabama in 2024. Wawa revealed in June plans to expand into the Nashville area with the first location to open in 2025, and plans for up to 40 stores in the market in the years to come.

RaceTrac, based locally near Truist Park in Atlanta, currently operates about 570 locations with nearly 250 of those in Florida.  The company has 123 in Georgia, with the balance in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky.  

QuikTrip, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has about 950 locations including 230 in Texas and more than 150 in Georgia, its second largest market by store count.  The company also operates stores in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.  

Wawa is wise to enter Georgia in tertiary markets first, as so many prime locations in the greater metro Atlanta area are already occupied by RaceTrac, QuikTrip or other competitors.  

Buc-ee's, based in Lake Jackson, Texas, opened their first Georgia super store location in November 2020 in Warner Robins and in 2021 added a second location in Calhoun.  The company revealed plans in August to add a third Georgia location to Glynn County at Exit 42 of I-95. The new location is between Savannah and Jacksonville.  

The NACS Show, the annual trade show of the convenience store industry, just wrapped up its 2022 show in Las Vegas and will in 2023 make its return to Atlanta, having last been here in 2019.  

Have you ever been to a Wawa?  Are you excited at the idea of Wawa coming to Georgia?  What is your favorite convenience store?

Please share your thoughts below  


Anonymous said...

I'm told that compared to QT, wawa has more 'fresh foods'(?) Does anyone here know anything about this? I like the rollergrill things at qt (which also has a certain amount of sandwiches and similar). I'm just curious as to what the difference is, and how do thier prices compare to QT.

Anonymous said...

Is this really the right time for a big gas station expansion, given the transition to EVs?

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that transition to EVs,,,, sheeple.

Jodyml813 said...

They have a lot of fresh made sandwiches, made to order salads and sandwiches, healthier options like hard boiled eggs, vegetables, fruit bowls, yogurt, things like that. They also have super clean restrooms. So it's like a QT but more heaty food centric.

Anonymous said...

transition? most vehicles still run on gas

Anonymous said...

The big transition to ev’s is a big facade. It will never work en masse. Nevertheless the gas stations will evolve to meet market demand if needed.

Anonymous said...

Grew up in Philly. There is a reason they have a cult following. WaWa makes all kids of sandwiches and hot items to order. Their selection is awesome. I like QT because it's the best we have in Georgia, but I miss WaWa and glad they are coming here.

Anonymous said...

No bias to regions of PA here but I prefer Sheetz to Wawa.

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