Wawa Selects Site for First Alabama Convenience Store
Construction has begun at the corner of Twin Beech Road and Highway 98 in Fairhope.
FAIRHOPE, Ala. — Wawa Inc. is headed to the Heart of Dixie.
The Pennsylvania-based convenience store operator is breaking ground on its first site in Alabama, located in the city of Fairhope, reported WKRG.
"We are really excited about it, I mean, we are all familiar with Buc-ee's so it's kind of a smaller version of Buc-ee's so it's something that is a destination for people to go to. [It's] just another exciting new business to have here," said Fairhope Mayor Sherry Sullivan, adding that as Baldwin County continues to grow, it becomes more attractive to prospective businesses.
"We are still one of the fastest growing areas in the country and I think [businesses] just start to see the growth and realize this is a great investment on their part," she said.
According to the report, construction has begun at the corner of Twin Beech Road and Highway 98, although an official start date has not been set.
Wawa has plans to double its footprint within the next decade, zeroing in on the Florida Panhandle region, along with adjacent markets in south Alabama.
The convenience retailer "is actively looking" into sites for new stores in the Florida markets of Pensacola, Panama City and Tallahassee, along with Mobile, Ala. Wawa currently plans to open up to 40 convenience stores in these markets.
The first stores are expected to welcome customers in 2024, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
Wawa also plans to grow in its existing markets and is slated to open 54 new stores in 2022. Plans additionally call for entering new adjacent markets in the next few years.
In the spring, Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens told the Business Journal that the retailer is preparing for its "most aggressive growth" in the company's history. As a result, the retailer will just about double its store count in the next decade.
Today, Wawa operates roughly 965 c-stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington, D.C. It wants to operate approximately 1,800 locations by 2030, eventually cutting the ribbon on up to 100 c-stores a year.