Wawa Adds Store 20 to Richmond Area

WAWA, Pa. -- Through its disciplined growth strategy, Wawa Inc. opened its 20th Richmond, Va. Area store last week, and has plans to add more throughout its operating region, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Wawa's measured growth is part of the privately owned company's culture, David Johnston, Wawa's chief operating officer, said last week during grand opening ceremonies for the retailer's latest Richmond area store.

"We don't have quarterly pressures, so we make long-term decisions. We're looking ahead 10, 20, 30 years," Johnston was quoted as saying.

Wawa plans to open a total of about 20 stores by the end of next year, including two more in the Richmond area, with others elsewhere in Virginia as well as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, according to the report. It is also exploring an expansion to Florida, with store openings at least two years away, according to company officials.

The convenience store chain entered Virginia 12 years ago, and entered the Richmond market a decade ago, the newspaper reported. Virginia now has the third-largest number of Wawa stores and employees, with 59 locations in the state, the newspaper reported.

The two other stores planned for the area are in Hanover County. Construction crews recently began clearing land on one location, and should be ready to open by late spring. The second store is still undergoing the permitting pricess, but Wawa hopes to open it sometime late next year, according to the report.

Although Wawa is methodical in its expansion plans, the chain remains innovative and is looking for additional ways to expand its customer base, Johnson said. The retailer is updating some of its locations with new color schemes and has added several product lines in recent years, as well as redesigning its coffee bar, according to the report.

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