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Wawa, Thorntons Continue Sunshine State Spree

ORLANDO and TAMPA, Fla. -- This was a busy week for the convenience store landscape in Florida as Wawa Inc. and Thorntons Inc. opened new locations across the state.

On Wednesday, Wawa opened its ninth store in the Orlando area, eight months after making its initial splash in the Sunshine State. The new store is located at 2239 N. Semoran Blvd. in the Winter Park section of Orlando.

Wawa will open 15 stores in the Orlando market and 10 in the Tampa Bay region in 2013, according to the Wawa, Pa.-based retailer. Between the two markets, the company projects it will open 100 stores in the state of Florida within the next five years.

In total, Wawa owns and operates more than 600 c-stores, including 300 gas stores, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.

"2013 will be an extremely exciting year for all of us at Wawa as we continue to grow and expand aggressively into the Sunshine State," said Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens. "We are so glad to be a part of the Orlando community, adding hundreds of new associates to the Wawa family and serving our new Florida friends and neighbors with our fresh and inviting foodservice offering."

Thorntons also continues to plant its flag in the state, concentrating on the Tampa market. The Louisville, Ky.-based convenience store chain opened a new location at 4103 Gunn Highway on Thursday and will open another location at 9979 Progress Blvd. in Riverview, Fla., on March 28.

These new additions will be the third and fourth Thorntons locations in the Tampa market. Thorntons operates more than 170 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Florida.

"Thorntons is excited to continue the expansion in Tampa," Thorntons Chief Operating Officer Tony Harris said. "The community has been very welcoming to the stores that have opened to date and we are happy to offer additional locations to our loyal customers."

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