A sign taped to the front door at the Somers Point Point Wawa told the story. "This store is closed due to limited staffing. We will be closed until further notice".

The store was closed for business on Wednesday and a company spokesman said it would be at least Friday before they could reopen that location.

There are two other Somers Point Wawas and plenty of others nearby, so you shouldn't have much trouble getting your Wawa fix if you really want it.

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Ever since the pandemic hit, convenience retailers and other retailers and service industry jobs have been harder to fill nationwide. While many others industries moved to working from home, those retail workers remained on the frontlines, mostly for little more than minimum wage.

The retail industry online journal, Retailwire.com says convenience chains nationwide suffered from staffing issues.

Labor was a major challenge that convenience operators had to confront last year with 69 percent reporting difficulty in finding qualified candidates to fill open positions.

Retailwire.com lists another interesting statistic about America's convenience store retailers. They had a very good year financially in 2020.

Nearly twice as many operators (59 percent versus 30 percent) reported achieving same-store sales increases than decreases last year. The channel, which represents 80 percent of all fuel purchased in the U.S., saw declines in gas sales and customer traffic during the year. Many quickly shifted focus to ready-to-eat and heat-and-eat foodservice items.

Last month, Wawa has announced plans to hire 5000 new associates by Memorial Day.

Wawa associates hired in full and part-time positions enjoy competitive salaries, flexible schedules and, when eligible, health benefits and tuition reimbursement opportunities.

Wawa is offering a $75 incentive for associates that receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Lastly, new hires in certain positions will be offered a bonus of $125 starting April 1, 2021 and ending June 15, 2021. The bonus will be paid after an associate’s 90th day of employment.

Those associates who stay with Wawa longer term are offered a chance to join Wawa’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The ESOP is provided to associates at no cost and is in addition to other core benefits including a 401k match.

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