Look out, Sheetz, Wawa is officially moving into your territory with Central Pa. expansion

Wawa exterior (Wawa)

By Patrick Berkery

April 17, 2024

The Delaware County-based convenience store chain broke ground on its first Dauphin County location Wednesday in Middletown, with five more stores in the region expected to open this year.

One day after Wawa celebrated its 60th anniversary, the Delaware County-based convenience store chain made official its plans for expansion into Central Pennsylvania.

During a news conference Wednesday at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Wawa President Brian Schaller announced a plan to open 40 Wawa locations in the region by 2030.

“We see Harrisburg up to State College, and I’ll say everything between and around it,” Schaller said of the target locations for the new Wawas.

Wawa broke ground on its first Dauphin County location Wednesday in Middletown. Schaller said the store at the intersection of Harrisburg Pike and Meade Road is slated to open Sept. 18.

Schaller announced five other Central Pa. Wawa locations are expected to open this year, including stores in Williamsport (Maynard Street and First Street); Dover (Rt. 74 and Hilton Avenue); York (Rts. 130 and 116); Hanover (Rt. 94 and Clover Lane); and Enola (Rt. 15 and First Street).

Schaller said Wawa plans to have up to 12 stores open in Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lycoming, Northumberland, Union, and York counties by the end of 2025. After that, the store expects to open between five and seven new Central Pa. locations each year through 2030.

According to Schaller, the 40 projected stores will lead to the creation of approximately 1,400 full-time jobs, an average of about 35 for each location.

The Central Pa. expansion marks Wawa’s first full-fledged move into Sheetz territory.

You’ll find Wawas scattered in and around the Lehigh Valley and in Berks and Lancaster counties, where the Altoona-based Sheetz has a much larger footprint. But until now, Wawa has refrained from encroaching too heavily on Sheetz’s turf, as if some gentleman’s agreement exists between the two Pennsylvania-based convenience store/gas station chains (rumors of which are the stuff of Keystone State urban legend).

Wawa currently has more than 1,000 stores, with locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Next month, Wawa will open its first North Carolina store.

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