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WAWA and ALTOONA, Pa. — For years, Wawa Inc. and Sheetz Inc. have been pitted against each other in the convenience store wars, with each firmly planted in opposite sides of their home state of Pennsylvania.
Numerous articles have been written about which chain is better, and fans have lined up on either side of the debate. Now, the two Keystone State-based retailers are at the forefront of the wage battle that's gripping the entire country.
On the heels of Altoona-based Sheetz revealing it is investing $15 million to boost the pay of its associates, Wawa made a wage move of its own, announcing it is increasing its starting pay to $10 an hour, according to The Morning Call.
"We are moving to $10 as our minimum rate for our customer service associates, along with increasing their pay band overall," Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said. "All of our associates will be receiving a 5-percent increase, in addition to the annual merit increase provided this year."
The Wawa-based chain's hike was planned before Sheetz made a similar move, Bruce told the news outlet.
Wawa's shift supervisors start at $13 an hour and its assistant general managers start at $17, both with a "strong bonus program on top of the rates," she noted.
On Tuesday, Sheetz said it is investing more than $15 million to raise the wages of store employees across the company, without cutting back on hours for full-time employees, as CSNews Online previously reported.
"As a family-owned business, we're committed to attracting, retaining and developing the best people. We believe that paying wages at the upper end of the retail scale is necessary to achieve that goal," said Stephanie Doliveira, vice president of human resources at Sheetz. "In addition to paying competitive wages, we provide our employees with increases based upon tenure, access to health insurance, quarterly bonuses, college tuition reimbursement, adoption assistance and paid time off, among many other benefits, continuing to prove that Sheetz strives to be a great place to work."
Wawa operates more than 700 convenience stores in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. It employs approximately 22,000 associates.
Sheetz operates more than 500 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina. The retailer employs more than 17,000 associates.