This Cult Favorite Local Chain Has Been Quietly Shutting Down Stores
Following the closure of its flagship store in 2020, the chain has been shuttering other locations.
There are few things more frustrating than running to the store, only to realize upon arrival that the lights are off and the doors are locked. Unfortunately, that's been a regular occurrence for the visitors to one popular local chain, which has been quietly shutting down stores, much to the dismay of customers. Read on to discover if a shop near you could be affected by the closures.
Wawa has been temporarily closing stores and limiting hours.
Beloved convenience store chain Wawa, which operates 860 locations in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., has been temporarily closing some of its stores and shutting others down early, NJ.com reports.
While the chain has not explicitly stated how many stores are currently closed or operating during reduced hours, Wawa seemingly confirmed that staffing challenges have been at the center of the changes.
"Wawa may temporarily close or reduce hours of operation at a store for a number of reasons, including operational challenges or staffing," the chain announced in a statement. "At times we will consolidate operations with smaller stores to support larger fuel stores."
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The chain plans to hire 5,000 new employees in the near future.
As a means of remedying its staffing issues, Wawa announced its plan to hire 5,000 new full-time and part-time employees in its stores.
"At Wawa, we have made a commitment to providing needed products and services and our associates have enabled us to play an essential role in our communities during the past year. As we continue to grow our stores, services and product offer, we are thrilled to announce a number of new jobs and advancement opportunities for our associates," said Stephanie Capaccio, Wawa's director of people team operations, in a May 3 statement.
The company is offering COVID-related bonuses to some employees.
New Wawa employees may have more than just a regular paycheck to look forward to. In the company's May 3 statement, Wawa announced that employees who receive a COVID vaccine through June 18 can get $300 from the chain for doing so. Additionally, certain employees who sign on between March 29 and June 15, 2021 will receive a $500 bonus after three months of employment with the company.
The chain closed its Philadelphia flagship store permanently in 2020.
While Wawa may be expanding in some areas, the chain's flagship store, located in Center City, Philadelphia, closed for good in August 2020.
"This decision was a difficult one. But due to the impact from the pandemic coupled with some operational uncertainties of today, our long-term plans for this store are no longer viable," Lori Bruce, a Wawa spokesperson, in a statement. Two nearby stores in Philadelphia have remained open.
In addition to the challenges presented by COVID, the Philly Voice reports that that the flagship store's block had been the location of multiple violent crimes since it opened, with three stabbings taking place outside the store in 2018.