Convenience Store Follows in Wawa’s Footsteps

Discussion
Jan 14, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The key to retailing may be location, location, location. But, one chain’s
idea of a poor location is turning out to be the right location for an independent
operator.


The Vineland (NJ) Daily Journal reports that Janak and Jitrenda
Patel, owner/operators of two Pantry 1 Food Marts have opened for business in
locations left by the Wawa convenience store chain.


The entrepreneurs aren’t wasting time either. The Daily Journal reports
that on Dec. 2, Wawa closed a location in Vineland. “By 4 p.m. that same day,
Pantry 1 Food Mart was up and running. It took a massive coordinated effort
between suppliers like Dietz & Watson meats and Cream-O-Land Dairy — as
well as the sign company — to pull it off.”


Janak Patel attributes the store’s early success to being responsive to local
customer needs. For example, Mr. Patel keeps a clipboard handy to respond to
customer requests. “In three days, I will have it,” he said.


Moderator’s Comment: What lessons do you believe can
be learned from the Wawa/Patel’s convenience store story?


FYI – In some (not all) instances, Wawa is including a
clause in its leases that locations it opens in can not house a convenience
store for a number of years.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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