The Battle of Pennsylvania: Wawa plans to add 40 new stores in central and western PA, commonly known as Sheetz territory
The battle for the state of Pennsylvania has begun. Wawa recently announced plans to add up to 40 new stores in central Pennsylvania, where their longtime enemies/rivals Sheetz has a strong presence.
Wawa has come a long way since starting out as an iron foundry in the early 19th century and later as a dairy farm and processing plant in the 20th century.
There are currently 965 Wawa locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington DC with plans to expand into southern states such as North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee in the very near future with a goal to DOUBLE their store count by 2030.
On the other side of the battle, we have Sheetz, which started in 1952 and begun expansion throughout central and western Pennsylvania in the 1980s. Sheetz now has over 630 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The Delaware County-based Wawa now plans on bringing the fight back to the homeland in PA by opening 40 new stores in central Pennsylvania, where Altoona-based Sheetz currently has a stranglehold.
Listen, Wawa is better than Sheetz and I say that as a man who spent four years in West Virginia living off Sheetz. However, the difference between the two continues to get closer. Wawa updated their bread a while ago which definitely hurt their cause and the main argument I always ran with on why Wawa was better than Sheetz was the fact that Wawa was more of a hoagie store while Sheetz was essentially fast food. However,with each passing day, Wawa inches closer to the fast food route with new food offerings.
With Wawa diving deeper into Pennsylvania, you have to wonder if Sheetz will launch a counter-attack and start putting stores in the Philadelphia area. Regardless, I highly doubt we will see any real defectors switching sides in Pennsylvania.
The loyalty to these two stores is too strong to all of the sudden abandon ship.