WAWA, Pa. — Wawa Inc. has begun to share details of its plans to grow its network in the Southeast as part of the convenience store operator's efforts to its double footprint within the next decade.
This expansion will start with store openings in south Florida and the Florida Panhandle regions as well as the Mobile, Ala., area.
Wawa first announced plans to open up to 40 c-stores within four markets in the Southeast in April 2022, as Convenience Store News reported.
South Florida will soon see the opening of 12 new Wawa locations, bringing its store count in the the three-county region of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to 37, reported the Miami Herald.
The Palm Beach County stores will open in Loxahatchee, Lantana, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach; Miami-Dade County will have two Wawa stores in Hialeah and one in Homestead; and Broward County will see two locations open in Hollywood and Oakland Park.
Wawa first began operating in south Florida in 2017, five years after it entered the state with a store in Orlando.
The retailer will move into the Florida Panhandle region with two c-stores in Pensacola: one at the intersection of West Nine Mile and Beulah roads and one at U.S. Highway 98 and North Blue Angel Parkway.
Wawa has another three to four sites in the area under consideration, reported the Pensacola News Journal. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the stores slated to open in 2024.
"When we talk about what matters most about our business model, we just don't think of hoagies, coffee, gas or convenience," said Steve Hasher, director of store operations at Wawa, during a recent community day event held at the Bayview Community Center in Pensacola. "While they certainly matter, what we value the most is how we serve and help our customers in our communities, in good times and bad. That's the true measure of success."
During the event, which served as the brand's introduction to the local community, mascot Wally Goose posed for pictures while attendees sampled Wawa-branded lemon iced tea and sandwiches. Additionally, The Wawa Foundation presented $3,000 checks to the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart and the local USO.
Wawa is in "wave one" of its rollout in the Panhandle region and will make announcements about new stores community-by-community as it solidifies plans, according to Lori Bruce, senior manager of media relations.
Wawa also held recent press conferences in Alabama to announce the locations of its first stores in southwest Alabama. In Mobile, Wawa will open its first two stores at the intersection of Cottage Hill and Sollie roads and the intersection of Schillinger Road and Old Government Street Road.
Additionally, its first four Baldwin County stores will open at U.S. 98 and Baldwin 44 (Twin Beech Road) in Fairhope; Ala. 181 and Ala. 104 in Fairhope; U.S. 98 and Johnson Road in Daphne; and Ala. 59 and Baldwin 48 in Robertsdale, reported AL.com.
The stores should be in business within a year from now, according to company representatives.
Pennsylvania-based Wawa operates nearly 1,000 c-stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.