If you think there are a lot of Wawa stores now, just wait and see what happens in the next few years.
If you’ve traveled to Orlando, Florida in the past few years, you know that as soon as you walk out of the airport, you come across a Wawa. Knowing that countless people fly from the Philadelphia area to central Florida for vacations, Wawa stores began popping up in the Sunshine State a decade ago. Since then, Wawa stores are now as common in Florida as they are in the Garden State.
And while Central Florida is a hotspot for people looking to get away from it all, Wawa looks beyond that area. Well beyond.
Wawa just announced plans to expand across Florida and Alabama.
Yes, you’ll soon be able to grab a hoagie and a cup of coffee in Panama City or Tallahassee and even Mobile, Alabama.
According to AL.com, Wawa has announced the construction of 40 stores along the Interstate 10 corridor over the next few years, with the first opening in 2024.
But that’s not the big story
The big story is that Wawa is looking to double its number of stores over the next eight years.
With 950 stores now, company officials have set a goal of having 1,800 by 2030.
This represents approximately 100 new stores each year for the next eight years.
And where are all these new stores going?
Citing a report from the Philadelphia Business Journal, NJ.com reports that Wawa wants to bridge the area between Virginia and Florida.
A 1930s idea for the 2030s
If you ever took a family vacation in the 70s or 80s and drove to Florida, you might remember seeing Stuckey’s stores all along Interstate 95. Stuckey’s was known as a place where you could stop for sweets or a snack – they were everywhere.
The Stuckey’s chain was founded in the 1930s by WS Stuckey, Sr., who decided to sell pecans to motorists traveling to Florida. In the decades that followed, Stuckey’s grew to some 350 stores before the chain began to struggle when interstate highways took over.
Stuckey’s is still around, but they’re not front and center like they were back then.
Now Wawa is looking to be the next Stuckey. They want to be everywhere along I-95.
If you’re heading south, instead of having to grab a pre-made gas station sandwich and an awful cup of coffee that was brewed 3 p.m. ago, Wawa stores will dot the landscape to save you. .
John Poplawski, vice president of real estate at Wawa, recently said:
Over the years we have been delighted to hear from so many people from so many areas interested in having a Wawa closer to home. We couldn’t be more excited to bring Wawa’s unique brand and offering to these new markets in the near future. We look forward to expanding beyond our current reach and serving these new markets with our quality fresh food and beverages and, as always, our deep commitment to the communities in which we operate.
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