NJ Has More Convenience Stores than Ever — and More Coming Soon
New Jersey's nearly 760 Wawa, 7-Eleven, and QuickChek locations represent just a quarter of the total number of convenience stores in the Garden State. And there are plenty more of these quick-stop shops coming to New Jersey in 2019.
"The convenience store has capitalized on human nature to the 10th degree," said Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association.
Tobacco, lottery, energy shots and drinks, and most other vices of the average New Jersey consumer, are covered by these stores — hundreds more of which exist today in New Jersey compared to last decade.
But what brings in customers more than anything else?
"Coffee, coffee and coffee," Risalvato said.
According to Risalvato, about 40 percent of all gasoline retail locations have a convenience store on site. The two avenues mix together quite well, he said, and owners can make more on one cup of coffee than they would on filling a car's entire tank with gasoline.
According to Wawa, 251 of the Pennsylvania-born shops are operating in New Jersey. The websites for 7-Eleven and QuickChek list 366 and 142 locations in New Jersey, respectively.
All three major chains have both standalone and gas-adjacent operations. Several gasoline brands also feature their own line of convenience stores, and countless mom-and-pop operations line New Jersey's highways and byways.
"We are so geared towards convenience and getting in and getting out," Risalvato said of the New Jersey commuter.
And many consumers, he said, are willing to purchase products at a higher markup than they would at a standard supermarket, such as milk, bread and eggs. After all, they're paying for the convenience.