retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that c-store chain Wawa has morphed successfully into "a full-service operation that is part store/take-out restaurant/coffee house, part bakery and gas station - and become a staple of the rush-hour landscape with its signature Wawa coffee."

Here's an interesting passage from the story:

"Wawa's evolution from a general convenience store to a broader restaurant is marked by this statistic: Food and beverage now account for more than 50 percent of Wawa's revenue ... This figure does not include the candy bars at the cash register or peanut butter and bread loaves on its shelves, which are categorized as 'grocery.' Food items are the 'meals' prepared in the back kitchen that customers can customize using electronic touch screens."

Chris Gheysens, Wawa's president/CEO, says that the "differential for our brand has been fresh food. In the last decade, we've been dedicated to quality and assortment, like you would find in a fast casual, or even a sit-down restaurant."

And, the story says, Gheysens maintains that "food's role at Wawa will keep expanding. For the first time the company is hiring both a food and beverage manager and a food and beverage supervisor for each store this year."
KC's View:
Consider this to be Exhibit A in "how to be relevant."