Wawa opens 200th Florida store, continues to build in SWFL

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The 200th Wawa store (Braithwaite Communications)

Gas stations are in a battle, fighting for your business.

Wawa opened its 200th Florida store in SWFL Thursday at Price Street and U.S. 41, and the Pennsylvania-based chain says it has no plans to stop building stores here any time soon.

From filling up your coffee cup, to your car’s gas tank, Wawa says its really a one-stop shop.

“When Wawa opens a store, we look at several things. We like to be on the corner of Main Street, and Main Street, we’re here for convenience,” said Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens.

But so does the competition, just a two-minute drive down the road.

Callie is born and raised in Naples. She’s a devoted RaceTrac customer, but today, even she split her time between the two.

“I went to Wawa today because they have a gas special, but then I had to come here,” she said.

Then, there’s the Lindenmuths from Philadelphia. They moved to the neighborhood six years ago. Like many transplants from the Northeast, Andy’s been waiting for Wawa.

“They really have it down to a science. You’re in and out with quality,” said Lindenmuths.
“We’ve been checking the website out when is it going to open. Every month or so I would check it out.”

Franny says she’s been driving to Wawa 15 minutes away to get one special thing: “My fountain Coke! No bottle Coke, no can Coke!”

Wawa’s invasion of Florida has been smart and systematic. First Central Florida, then the East Coast and now SWFL. So get ready for more stores.

Gheysens said Wawa hopes to continue to capitalize on that neighborhood-community feel.

And it’s up to the competition to keep up.

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