Is a drive-through-only store the shape of things to come for Wawa?
Wawa has submitted plans to build a new drive-through-only concept store, a first of its kind for the convenience chain, in Falls Township, PA.
The new 1,840-square-foot store will be constructed near a 5,586-square-foot Wawa with a gas station that opened for business in 2019. The drive-through store will offer a scaled down list of product choices and foodservice items typically found in a Wawa store when it opens.
Mike Redel, real estate project engineer for Wawa, told LevittTownNow.com that the location was picked due to the volume of traffic in the area. An average of 25,000 vehicles pass by on a daily basis. Construction on the project is expected to begin next month with the drive-through, which will also offer curbside pickup, opening in December.
Company officials have said that the coronavirus pandemic has moved up Wawa’s plans to pursue initiatives such as curbside pickup and drive-throughs. The convenience chain also offers delivery through DoorDash, Grubhub and UberEats.
Wawa’s move to drive-throughs and curbside pickup reflects broader trends in the convenience store industry. According to a recent national survey of convenience store operators by NACS, 33 percent have rolled out or expanded curbside pickup, 29 percent have increased drive-throughs and 21 percent have done the same for delivery.
While the Falls Township location will be unique for Wawa, it will not be its only attempt at driving sales with a drive-through operation. The retailer announced plans earlier this month to add a drive-through to a store in Westhampton, NJ that is scheduled to open this year.
When operational, the store will be able to accommodate up to 19 cars in line to have their orders filled at an 88-square-foot drive-through window, the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports. As with the Falls Township concept, Wawa’s drive-through in the Garden State will offer a limited menu of drinks, sandwiches and soup. Service hours will run from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Wawa Picks Falls Twp. For First Drive-Thru Only Location – LevittTownNow.com
- New Wawa Opens In Falls Twp. As $11 Million Lawsuit Settled – LevittTownNow.com
- Wawa plans to introduce drive-thru service at Westampton store – Cherry Hill Courier-Post/Asbury Park Press
- Convenience Stores Continue to Add Safety Protocols, New Pickup Option – NACS
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does curbside pickup or drive-through offer the better opportunity for convenience stores such as Wawa to grow customer traffic and sales? Do you think that a drive-through and curbside pickup-only concept has legs?