PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Wawa stores transition to larger locations, are more of their former, smaller sites being left vacant?
When a small Wawa store closes to give way to a larger “Super Wawa,” does it seem like the smaller location remains empty for an unusually long time?READ MORE: 65% Of Philadelphia Employees Have Received COVID-19 Vaccine As Of Tuesday
Wawa currently lists 10 vacant store sites on its website.
Dr. John Stanton, a professor of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University who once consulted for Wawa, says a competing convenience store is unlikely to move into a former Wawa location.READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Ahjaon Jackson Shot, Killed While Coming Home From Work With Twin Sister, Philadelphia Police Say
“First of all, Wawa didn’t think they made enough money in that store,” he said. “And if we go into this business, we’re not going to be a well-known brand. And half-a-mile away will be a Wawa brand.”
Jim Savard, the executive vice president for leasing at Metro Commercial Real Estate, says the smaller Wawa sites may be less desirable for businesses because they typically don’t have as much parking, or maybe we just notice the former Wawas more.
“We in the Philadelphia market have an affinity towards their brand,” he said. “There is that recognition, and so I think we probably do notice it more than some of the other retail sites that you’ve driven by, day in and day out that are in line that you don’t even notice.”MORE NEWS: Two People, Including At Least 1 Firefighter, Injured In Crash In Philadelphia's West Oak Lane Neighborhood
Wawa didn’t respond to our requests for comment.