Wawa Hosts Virtual Grand Openings for New Stores

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WAWA, Pa. — Despite the slowdown in the economy as states grapple with the coronavirus health crisis, convenience store retailers have not slowed down new store openings.

Wawa Inc. is one example, except it is turning its traditional grand openings into virtual events.

On June 10, the c-store operator cut the ribbon on its latest Florida store in Hollywood, marking its 12th location in Broward County. Store associates stood 6 feet apart and followed social distancing guidelines for the grand opening.

"At Wawa, our core purpose is to go beyond filling orders to fulfill lives, every day, and that has never been stronger than now as our nearly 900 stores unite together to provide support in the form of food, fuel, food donations, funds and the one-of-a-kind Wawa experience that delivers care and hope no matter the circumstances," said President and CEO Chris Gheysens.

"As a new store opens, we will continue to provide comfort and a sense of normalcy in the safest way possible, while listening to what our friends and neighbors need most throughout these challenging times," he added.

Wawa shared the milestone through a video experience on social media. The clips include Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy welcoming Wawa to the neighborhood; Wawa launching its Lending a Helping Hoagie initiative, which will donate $1,000 from the new store's first week of sales to Feeding South Florida; Wawa acknowledging local community first responders, including donations to local charities serving the community; and an invitation from USO local representative to support military and families by making a donation at any Wawa Store from June 1 – July 19.

The convenience retailer held similar virtual events as it welcomed customers to two additional stores, one in Cape Coral, Fla., on June 11 and one in Hazlet, N.J., also on June 11.

To watch clips of the Cape Coral opening, click here. For the Hazlet store festivities, click here.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates nearly 900 c-stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.