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TAMPA, Fla. — The expansions of Wawa Inc. and Thorntons Inc. into the Florida market will lower gas prices as the convenience stores compete, according to a Tampa Tribune report. In some locations, new stores for the chain are even opening on the same street.
The latest head-to-head competition will occur on Tampa's Hillsborough Avenue. Wawa recently posted a "coming soon" sign at 1760 W. Willsborough Ave., a few months after Thorntons opened a store at 2356 W. Willsborough Ave.
By the end of 2015, Wawa is expected to operate 25 stores in the Tampa region, while Thorntons has opened eight stores and may build several more. While Wawa is opening stores in various Florida regions, Tampa remains Thorntons' sole outpost, according to company spokeswoman Erin James.
As the new stores open, local drivers will likely benefit from the direct competition as well as the fact that large chains often get aggressive with low prices when they open a new store in order to attract customers, Clemson University economics professor Matthew Lewis told the news outlet.