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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wawa Inc. is bringing its familiar convenience banner to the nation's capital — and stepping it up a notch.
Set to rise at 1111 19th St., the convenience store will measure 9,200 square feet, making it the largest in Wawa's portfolio. Calling it a "one-of-a-kind store," the retailer said it will feature the latest in the retailer's offering with an upscale urban feel, indoor and outdoor seating, and an interactive digital experience.
Highlights of the store, which is slated to open in December, will include:
- Floor-to-ceiling windows
- Exterior patio seating for customers
- Upscale, custom interior tables and bar seating
- Large, interactive screens creating a social experience in-store
- Free Wi-Fi
In addition, the location will serve Wawa's signature foods and specialty beverages along with its newest offers, including custom salads and nitro cold brew coffee.
The Pennsylvania-based retailer revealed the details of its first Washington, D.C. store at a Community Partnership Event on June 13 at the Newseum. The networking and educational event served to familiarize the community with Wawa's offerings, people, culture and expected economic and community impact.
"We are thrilled to start expanding into the Washington, D.C., market and bring our urban store design to this incredible community," said Chris Gheysens, president and CEO. "While we currently have stores throughout Virginia and Maryland, we look forward to bringing our unique mix of quality and convenience to residents of our nation's capital by providing a unique, restaurant-style location created specifically for the D.C. customer.
"We've been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support from our D.C.-area fans who are already eagerly anticipating Wawa opening in their city, and we can't wait to open our doors to our D.C. friends and neighbors for the first time this December," he added.
Wawa plans to open 25 stores in the Mid-Atlantic and 25 new stores in the Florida market each year for the next several years, including five to 10 stores in the Washington, D.C. market in the next two to three years.
Each new Wawa store will employ nearly 40 associates, with the urban models employing close to 100 associates per store. The retailer will also continue its ongoing expansion in the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia.
"We couldn't be more excited to begin our expansion throughout Washington, D.C., and provide our unique brand of appetizing convenience to so many new customers," said Brian Schaller, Wawa's senior vice president and chief real estate officer.
"By opening stores within the District, we will expand our brand awareness to the 600,000 residents and 700,000 daytime employees, including 200,000 millennials, who live and work in the District," he said. "In addition, we are extremely excited to serve the 21 million visitors who travel to Washington, D.C. each year, many of whom are already familiar with Wawa."
Wawa operates more than 750 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.