QuikTrip favorite convenience store chain, Wawa tops in coffee

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Market Force Information polled over 5,000 consumers for a study of convenience store preferences. Tulsa-based QuikTrip had the highest "Composite Loyalty Score" at 79%, followed closely at 74% by Wawa, a 645-store chain founded 50 years ago in the Pennsylvania township of the same name and dominant in the mid-Atlantic states. QuikTrip has over 700 stores in and around Tulsa, Wichita, Kansas City, Omaha, Des Moines, St. Louis, Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, and from Atlanta to Charlotte along the I-85 corridor.

QuikTrip had the highest ratings for friendly service, fast service, cleanliness (inside, outside, and restrooms), and high quality beverage station, with over two-thirds of respondents agreeing that those descriptions fit QuikTrip stores. QT also topped the "inviting atmosphere" category, but only with 51%.

Wawa finished second or third to QuikTrip in those categories, but topped QT in high quality coffee (Wawa 54%, QT 37%), high quality food (Wawa 42%, QuikTrip in 4th at 26%), and available amenities (Wawa 36%, QuikTrip in 5th at 22%).

In the food selection category, Sheetz, a 437-store chain in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina, finished first with 54%, followed by Wawa at 49% and QT at 36%. Sheetz offers burgers, wings, wraps, pizza, burritos, and subs through a touchscreen ordering system.

Wawa Inc. started as an iron foundry in 1803, which launched a dairy in 1902, which opened small food markets to sell its products in 1964. Two years ago Wawa began expanding into the Orlando and Tampa metro areas in Florida, and newer, bigger, fuel-oriented stores are replacing older non-fuel locations in eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. Wawa is known for its wide variety of coffees and its built-to-order hoagie counter. As with QuikTrip, you expect Wawa stores to be clean and orderly. A couple of favorite features:

(1) To doctor your coffee, Wawa has quart cartons of its dairy's milk and half-and-half in a chilled well set into the coffee counter.

(2) For customers on low-carb diets, Wawa offers lidded snack cups filled with cheese cubes and pepperoni slices or carrot and celery sticks -- healthier alternatives to donut hole snack cups.

As far as I can tell, QT, Wawa, and Sheetz are not in any overlapping markets.

So congratulations to hometown QuikTrip, and we hope QT's spirit of innovation will spur them on to further improvements -- especially in the coffee department.

MORE: Sheetz, Wawa, QuickCheck (138 stores in New York and New Jersey), and QuikTrip are the top four in Facebook "likes" per store.

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WBUH Dallas said:

Hi! Just wanted to drop you a line that we cited this piece in our blog here.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 17, 2014 12:26 PM.

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