The opening of a new Wawa convenience store and gas station over in Hackettstown, NJ isn’t necessarily a ground-breaking situation for most people. At least those that don’t live (or have businesses) close by.

But apparently, it is a bit of a big deal. From what we ascertained, typical shenanigans were involved in this whole setup. We believe the “concerns” from area residents went largely ignored. Several outspoken locals didn’t want yet another “big business” in their city. And other small business shops seemed poised to suffer.

Wawa of Hackettstown, NJ (new)

Wawa is cookie-cutter – but people love convenience and familiarity?

We stopped by this place last weekend just to cash in a winning lottery ticket. Seemed clean and well organized. One thing we noticed was that the place was buzzing with customers – and this was in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. So maybe the locals weren’t so mad after all.

Just like the Quick Cheks that are opening every other day – these cookie cutter “convenience centers” are very interesting debate. Most people can understand both sides of the equation.

1. Who needs all these corporate stores?

2. Uh, we really like the convenience and options…

I’d suspect the reason people “go to the dark side” is that most of the small businesses cannot keep up. Either don’t want to – or have limited resources and finances.

These corporate stores are robust, expensive, modern spaces with ample parking. They’re brightly lit, well-stocked and staffed, and have extended hours.

How does the ordinary Joe business owner compete? With smaller stores, less inventory, more expensive, and so on? These billion-dollar corporations definitely squeeze out the smaller guys.

And as much as there are a few squeaky wheels that will never shop there – and will always support the small guys – there will never be enough of them. At least out in this area of the world. The individuals that will choose their own personal convenience over what happens to the landscape.

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NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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