Wawa Plans Aggressive Growth

The retailer wants to double its store count and enter new states; meanwhile, Rutter’s opens its 80th location.

April 20, 2022

Wawa Store Logo

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Wawa is planning to nearly double its store count in what the company’s CEO is calling “the most aggressive growth” in the company’s history, reports Philly Voice. The c-store chain currently has 965 stores across Delaware, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and it plans to open 1,800 locations by 2030.

The new stores will be a mix of “traditional” neighborhood stores and “non-traditional” rest-stop-style formats, and some locations will include drive-thrus, said Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens.

The Wawa, Pennsylvania-based c-store chain will open 300 new stores in existing territories, but it plans to “fill in the market" between Virginia and Florida, according to Gheysens. Wawa does not have locations in North Carolina, South Carolina or Georgia but plans to open its first store in North Carolina in 2024.

Wawa formally announced plans to expand into the Florida Panhandle region and adjacent South Alabama over the next few years. The company is “actively looking” for spots to build stores in the Florida markets of Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee, along with Mobile, Alabama. Current plans are for Wawa to open as many as 40 stores in these markets with the first stores expected to open in 2024, according to a news release.

The company does not plan to expand its reach north of New Jersey. The company had locations in Connecticut and New York in the ’90s but sold the locations. In 2018, Gheysens said that the company was looking into opening locations in New York City, but the high cost of real estate was a deterrent.

Gheysens discussed Wawa’s social purpose with NACS in the 2021 Ideas 2 Go video series.

Meanwhile, Rutter’s opened its 80th location in Kutztown, Pennsylvania—its first new build this year, according to a news release.

“We’re thrilled to continue our expansion by bringing Rutter’s to Kutztown, Pennsylvania,” said Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter’s. “Our company is excited to be a part of this great community by serving the area with our best-in-class food offerings and amenities. We hope to give Kutztown residents a reason to say, ‘Rutter’s…Why Go Anywhere Else?’”

To celebrate the store opening, Rutter’s Children’s Charities pledged $1,000 donations to three Kutztown organizations: Weisenberg Volunteer Fire Department, Friend Inc. Food Bank and Kutztown Strong.