Wawa Plans Major Expansion in One East Coast State

Convenience store chain Wawa, which operates more than 1,000 stores in six East Coast states and Washington, D.C., released details of its plans to open 80 new locations in a single state.

Wawa reported that the initial phase of its expansion project will take place in eastern North Carolina, with the first eight stores opening in 2024.

In addition to the stores set to open in 2024, Wawa has more than 30 sites under contract currently going through local approval processes. The company expects to open up to 15 stores in 2025 and 10 in 2026, with plans to open 80 stores over the next 10+ years in the eastern part of the state.

Likewise, Wawa’s real estate teams continue to look for sites throughout North Carolina.

While exact grand opening dates have not yet been determined, the following eight locations will have Wawa stores opening in 2024:

  • N. Croatan Hwy. and W 4th St., Kill Devil Hills, NC
  • Halstead Blvd. and Rt 17, Elizabeth City, NC
  • Raleigh Rd. Pwky. and Hayes Place, Wilson, NC
  • Ward Rd. and Nash St., Wilson, NC
  • Benvenue Rd. & Jeffreys Rd., Rocky Mount, NC
  • Wayne Memorial Dr. & Hospital Rd, Goldsboro, NC
  • Stantonsburg Rd. and Moye Blvd, Greenville, NC
  • US Hwy. 70 and NC Hwy. 581, Goldsboro, NC

To build each store, Wawa will invest approximately $7 million and employ, on average, 140 contractors and local partners.

Related Article: Retailers Welcome Lower Debit Card Swipe Fees, But it’s Insufficient

Once open, each store will employ, on average, 35 associates, with Wawa expecting to create more than 2,800 new jobs as a result of its expansion. Wawa associates own 39% of the Company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Wawa is a privately held, family- and associate-owned convenience store chain headquartered in Chester Heights, Pennsylvania, with more than 1,000 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C.

Details on Wawa’s growth plans for North Carolina were announced during double-header Community Partnership events on October 25 at the Greenville Convention Center and Casita Brewing Company in Wilson.

These events officially introduced Wawa to the community and allowed Wawa leaders to connect with community and VIP customers, local officials, and partners, said the company in a press release.

In addition, attendees got a sneak peek at the new store designs. They had the opportunity to learn about Wawa’s history, unique offerings, and the company’s commitment to its new North Carolina communities, including new partnerships and community support for local organizations.

“We were thrilled to share our ‘flight plan’ for North Carolina and reveal, for the very first time, our exciting expansion plans, renderings, and more with our newest soon-to-be neighbors,” said Kim Dowgielewicz, director of store operations for Wawa.

“Our Community Partnership events also gave us the opportunity to meet new community members and talk a little bit about our history and what makes Wawa such an ideal fit for communities in this region. We can’t wait to open our doors to the community next year! As we get closer to our grand openings in 2024, we will share even more details on our growth in North Carolina, all while connecting with more customers, communities, partners, and nonprofit organizations,” Dowgielewicz noted.