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WAWA, Pa. -– Wawa Inc., which operates more than 630 convenience stores in the Mid-Atlantic region and Florida, has been selected the 2013 Convenience Store Retailer Innovator of the Year by the editors of Convenience Store News, the convenience store industry’s leading media brand.
Always one of the leading innovators in the c-store industry, Wawa in the past year seems to be taking convenience retailing to a new level. The editors of CSNews, after polling experts throughout the industry, cited Wawa for its successful entry into Florida with a new prototype store, its use of social and digital media, and its continued focus on the consumer.
“Wawa is on a roll this year,” said Don Longo, editor-in-chief of CSNews, a Stagnito Media publication. “The retailer’s new Florida stores are a perfect example of Wawa’s innovation and positioning in the fast-casual segment of foodservice.”
When the retailer leapt almost 1,000 miles south of its traditional markets to open its first Florida store 13 months ago, it could have done so with its already proven and profitable prototype. But instead of transplanting its Mid-Atlantic model to the South, Wawa developed a fresh design driven by the shopping psychology and behavior of the Florida consumer.
"We only had one chance to make a great first impression and the new store really had to inform the majority of people who didn’t previously know Wawa that the brand stands for fresh, great-quality food and beverages, and convenience,” said President and CEO Chris Gheysens.
Wawa’s new prototype and an exclusive interview with Gheysens will be featured as the cover story of CSNews’ showcase NACS Show issue in October.