Wawa closes another downtown store due to operational issues

Wawa permanently closed its store on 13th and Chestnut streets in downtown, citing operational challenges after less than four years there.

The company confirmed the store would close on Monday and said employees at that location would be transferred to others in the city. The storefront was previously occupied by the original I Goldberg Army & Navy of Philadelphia, a family-owned clothing and surplus store that had been in business for 100 years before Wawa took over the location.

Wawa’s decision to close the store comes amid a string of recent closings in Philadelphia, beginning last year with the store closing on Broad and Walnut streets. The company closed its store on Ninth and South streets in the fall and also recently closed a North Philadelphia location at 1300-14 East Erie Avenue.

Over the past half-decade, Wawa has expanded aggressively into the downtown area with several new locations within walking distance of each other. In early 2020, Wawa opened a tiny 3,000 square foot location at 33 South 16th St., just off Chestnut Street, a few blocks from the store that closed on Monday. It seems the small-format store has created redundancy, especially with fewer people working downtown during the pandemic.

Wawa still has multiple downtown locations, with no immediate plans to make any further changes. A company spokesperson said the store at 912-916 Walnut St. near Jefferson Hospital was not facing any closures.

“We continue to serve the community as well as the surrounding hospital and medical staff in the area,” the spokesperson said.

Forbes recently ranked Wawa the largest private company in Pennsylvania and the 29th largest in the United States, with $11 billion in revenue and about 38,000 employees in its growing territory.