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Wawa Closes Eighth Location In Philly Amid Expansion Into Other States

The region’s most popular convenience store is closing a decades-old location in Philadelphia, the eighth to shutter in its hometown market in the past few years as the locally-based chain makes a push to the west and south.

The Port Richmond Wawa off Alleghany Avenue and Richmond Street in 2022

Wawa’s 45-year-old Port Richmond location at 3230 Richmond St. will close on July 9, according to a notice posted on the storefront and first reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal

The store did not cite its reasons for closure.

"While this was a very difficult decision to make, we have determined that this store cannot deliver the experience customers deserve or continue to meet performance expectations," reads the notice posted on the door.

"Since this store opened in 1979, we have grown our presence and services to Philadelphia, with 36 stores currently open and with strong and growing support to some of the city's largest events and institutions. Philadelphia is our hometown and that will never change."

Two other nearby stores on Aramingo Avenue and at 4371 Richmond St. will remain open, and staff at the closed store can relocate to new locations, the post reads.

The Philadelphia-area store closures come as Wawa makes a $280M investment into market expansion. The home of Hoagiefest was to expand to North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama this year, Bisnow reported in February, and plans a major push into the Midwest, with locations in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky having broken ground.

The convenience chain that is home to discount hoagies, mac and cheese to order and more has closed more than a half-dozen Philadelphia locations in recent years. 

Wawa closed its Headhouse Square location a year ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported at the time, noting that the rate of theft had doubled in the city's then-40 locations since 2021 and citing complaints from a neighborhood group about panhandling and other antisocial behavior in the vicinity.

The company also cited crime issues behind its decision to close stores at 12th and Market streets and 19th and Market streets in 2022. It blamed operational challenges for 2021 closures at its Ninth and South streets and 13th and Chestnut streets locations. 

Wawa once rushed to open its then-flagship location at Broad and Walnut streets in 2015, ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia. By 2020, it closed for good.

Later this year, a lease runout will shutter the Spring Garden Wawa at the intersection of Hamilton and 21st streets.

Yet, in addition to its national expansion, Wawa is also rolling out regionally against Pennsylvania competitors like Sheetz. Store leadership expects to have as many as 12 locations open in Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lycoming. Northumberland, Union and York counties by the end of next year, according to the PBJ.