The "Dish" on Convenience

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The "Dish" on Convenience

By Don Longo, Convenience Store News - 08/28/2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Citing such disparate references as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and a "dishy" Convenience Store News, Washington Post staff writer Hank Stuever yesterday wrote a whimsical commentary on his summer-long journey "bouncing between all the Sheetz’ and all the Wawas he could find.

The quest to visit as many stores as possible operated by the two leading Mid-Atlantic c-store chains began, according to the writer, when it become clear that he wasn’t going on any exotic vacation this summer.

"By late July, this much came clear: Some of us were going no place exotic in this, the bummer summer. There wasn't the time or there wasn't the money. Things keep not happening, or the wrong things happened. We never got farther than the Sheetz convenience store off the interstate. Stood there paralyzed by the choices in a Wawa—what kind of chips, what kind of sandwich, what kind of soda, what kind of frozen chocolate thing? What kind of life? Which? What?

"How about just resigning ourselves to summer's fate? What about a local sort of road trip, a mini-mart epic, bouncing between all the Sheetz’ and all the Wawas you can find? Sheetz just opened its 360th location. Wawa will open its 571st this week. We live right where their territories overlap, a lovely Venn diagram of two same-but-different worlds."

Stuever’s journey provides a slice of life look at the operations and customers of the two iconic chains, along with background facts about the company sourced from what he calls a “dishy” CSNews. (Edit. Note: This might be the first time in its 40-year history CSNews has been described as "dishy." We’re not exactly Page Six of the New York Post.)

"Wawa customers and Sheetz customers are known to make three, four, even, legendarily, 12 visits a day. Living in a limitless Wawa-or-Sheetz world is a miraculous thing. It might even be too much convenience. (Too much convenience?)," wrote Stuever.

Read Stuever’s complete commentary, "Wawa vs. Sheetz: Isn’t That Convenient".

In the end, Stuever doesn’t choose one over the other.
He concludes: "Don't listen to anybody who loves one more than the other. Sheetz and Wawa are both right, in their way, for infinitesimal reasons."

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