Wawa Begins Construction on First Store in North Carolina

The convenience retailer aims to roughly double its store count by 2030.

May 15, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Wawa broke ground on its first store in North Carolina last Friday, reports the Virginian-Pilot. The convenience retailer hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the first store in the state and shared more details on North Carolina growth plans.

The store will be located in Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks and will open in the first quarter of 2024. Wawa will spend five years opening 35 locations in North Carolina and plans to open another 50 locations in the state over the next 10 years. The next Wawa location will be in downtown Elizabeth City.

Wawa chose the Outer Banks to open its first North Carolina location because of its proximity to Virginia, along with the local “sense of community,” Kim Dowgielewicz, director of store operations, told the Virginian-Pilot. “When you think about our company values, it seemed like a natural transition for us,” she said.

According to Jay Ratcliffe, the company’s regional manager, Wawa will invest about $6.5 million in the site and employ about 140 contractors and local partners. At the groundbreaking, the convenience retailer presented $3,000 checks to the Coast Guard Foundation and Dare County Special Olympics.

Wawa projects to roughly double its store count by 2030, aiming for about 1,800 Wawa locations. In December, the convenience retailer announced that it would add stores in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky as part of the expansion plan.