More New Stores Open

Rutter's, Wawa, Fastrac exhibit incremental growth

Published in CSP Daily News

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- Three major convenience store chains, Rutter's, Wawa and Fastrac, have all opened new locations in recent days. Rutter's Farm Stores has expanded into its sixth central Pennsylvania county on Friday, when its new convenience store opened in Swatara Township. It is the first Dauphin County location for the York, Pa.-based retailer.

"We're really thrilled to be a part of Dauphin County and to bring our family-owned business to Swatara Township, Hummelstown and the surrounding area," said Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter's Farm Stores. "This is a really busy intersection, [image-nocss] so we look forward to offering a convenient, friendly stop for our neighbors' daily needs."

The 24-hour store features Rutter's latest foodservice offerings, including custom stir-fry, fajitas and fresh-baked bread. Customers can design their own "oriental bowls" by choosing among chicken, beef and pork; fried rice, white rice, noodles and veggies; and various toppings and dressings. Customers can mix and match ingredients to create custom steak, chicken and veggie fajitas. Sub and cibatta rolls come in a total of seven varieties and are available for sandwiches or for individual retail purchase.

Other store amenities include a premium-coffee island, seating for 12, restrooms and a surcharge-free M&T Bank ATM. Outside, there are 16 fueling positions and an automatic car wash.

The store features an international award-winning design ( click here to read previous CSP Daily News coverage of the design), including open ceilings, extensive use of floor and wall tiles, and bathrooms with floating ceilings, music and other upscale accents. The design is environmentally friendly, including a white roof that will keep the building cooler while reducing energy demand.
Family-owned and third-generation managed, Rutter's Farm Stores operates 53 convenience stores in York, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania.

Separately, in Vineland, New Jersey's second oldest Wawa closed Friday as the company's newest store opened across the street, reported The Vineland Daily Journal. The older store was the state's second Wawa to open, while the newest store is New Jersey's 227th, Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce told the newspaper. The older spot opened in October 1968, shortly after the state's first store opened in Vineland, she said.

Bruce called the new store "the reinvention of convenience." She said, "Today's customers want more services under one roof."

About a dozen employees from the older Wawa store went across the street, and the store hired nearly 50 new people, Bruce added.

Of the 560 operating Wawa convenience stores, only 200 offer gasoline, said the report. Greater Cumberland County has 17 Wawa stores and, with the newest store, 11 sell gasoline.

As customers filtered in and out of the new store, Wawa COO David Johnston, general manager Charles Repp and his employees, company officials and Vineland Mayor Robert Romano held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening. "We've come a long way," Johnston told the crowd, according to the report. "Let's hope this store hangs in there for 40 years."

The site was a controversial one for Wawa, added a report by The Press of Atlantic City. When the company applied in March 2004 to build the store, the zoning board denied a variance that would have allowed the store and planned gas station within an otherwise residential zone. Within months, the battle reached court. For three years, the two sides were locked in parallel legal battles—over the denial of the approval and the legality of the underlying ordinance—which were finally resolved in 2007, when the city lost its last appeal.

Wawa's attorney, Rocco Tedesco, won the release of meeting minutes from a closed committee attended by then-Mayor Perry Barse and planning staff that had drafted a 2006 master plan, a blueprint for city development, said the report. In March, a judge ruled those meetings were illegal because they were closed to the public and struck down the entire plan.

Also, Syracuse, N.Y.-based Fastrac Markets has opened its first gas station and convenience store, in Henrietta, N.Y., according to The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The new location sells gasoline and diesel fuel. It is also the first location in the chain to offer E85 motor fuel for flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs). The company operates nearly 50 locations in the state of New York.

Click hereto read the most recent installment of "Open & Shut," CSP Daily News' occasional roundup of new-store openings, closings and more.

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