Convenience stores may be a dime-a-dozen in some parts of the country, but there are two East Coast chains that transcend the dullness of corporate homogeneity. According to The New York Times, there has been a longstanding rivalry between regulars of Sheetz and Wawa, with each side maintaining deep conviction in the uniqueness of its favored store.
Both chains have been named “best in class” by industry insiders like Convenience Store News. In Pennsylvania particularly, they “stir tribal loyalties, a commitment as deep as bonds with the Philadelphia Phillies or Pittsburgh Pirates.” Mitt Romney even acknowledged a “very big state divide” when he made a stop at a Wawa during his campaign bus tour.
For those of us who are nowhere near either Sheetz or Wawa, here’s the difference in a nutshell: “to Sheetz’s country mouse, Wawa is a more suburban creature.” Sheetz uses brighter colors in decor and plays loud country music. Wawa, on the other hand, goes for “muted browns and blonds.”
Each inspires its own special band of followers too. Sheetz fans who hang out at the convenience stores late at night are known as “Sheetz Freakz.” Meanwhile, “Wawa’s customers have been known to tattoo its name on their biceps.”
[via The New York Times]