PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Stigall spoke with Howard Stoeckel, the former CEO of Wawa, about the 50th anniversary of the company Wednesday on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
Click below to listen to the podcast…
Stoeckel stated one of their goals is to be as user-friendly as possible.
“We want to be convenient. Customers are time-starved. They’re going to work, they’re running errands, they’re going home, they want gas, they want a breakfast, and they want a lunch or dinner. We have to be convenient. That’s why we build big stores on major intersections and why we cluster our stores. We have stores within a mile or two of each other because we want to appear bigger than we are and simplify the lives of our consumers,” he said.
He commented on their plans to continue growing, both in new regions and at home.
“You have to expand to create shareholder value over the long term. We looked around the country and we found there wasn’t anyone quite like Wawa in Florida. The Florida economy had bottomed out, there was real estate available and our goal was to expand in Florida, but to continue to expand here.”
Stoeckel stated the founding culture of Wawa is what enabled their continued success.
“We’ve been privately held throughout our history. We share ownership with our associates. They own 37 or 38 percent of the company. It’s all about serving others…serving communities, serving our associates, serving our customers, making their lives better, helping them achieve their potential. Those three things are, basically, what we call the moral compass of the business. That’s what makes Wawa, Wawa. Wawa’s become a living brand because of our people,” he said.
Stoeckel currently serves as the Vice-Chairman on Wawa’s board of directors and has written a book entitled, The Wawa Way, which is currently on sale in stores.
To celebrate their 50th year, Wawa is giving away free coffee to everyone today.