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Wawa to Test Smaller C-store Format in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA — Wawa Inc. plans to open its smallest-yet Philadelphia store at the corner of 16th and Chestnut streets this fall.

The slightly under 3,000-square-foot store will serve as a test store for new products, reportedThe Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens announced plans for the store during the annual Wawa Day celebration on April 11, held at the chain's flagship and largest-ever store at Sixth and Chestnut streets in Philadelphia.

The goal for the smaller location is to retain the same feeling as larger Wawa stores, which could lead to opening similar store models in the future, according to Gheysens.

"If we can crack that [smaller] model and still make it feel like a Wawa, then we might be able to move into core urban centers," he explained.

The convenience store retailer plans to maximize automation at the new store and have a walk-up window for order pickups. It will also feature new products such as cold-pressed juices, energy shots and upscale hot tea offerings.

"What we hear first and foremost from our customers is they love how convenient we are, but they want it to be even more convenient," said Terri Micklin, Wawa's director of construction.

Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates more than 840 convenience stores, including 600-plus with gas, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.