Case Detail

Case Summary

Wawa: Building a New Business within an Established Firm TN

Case Number: 5-306-505, Year Published: 2006

HBS Number: KEL240

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Key Concepts

Corporate Entrepreneurship Business Model Innovation, New Business Scale-up, Role of Leadership in Change, Service Industry Innovation, Change Leadership, Innovation, Service Industry, Corporate Entrepreneurship


Wawa, a $4 billion privately held firm, is arguably the most successful convenience store operator in the United States. The case explores how senior management decided to build an entirely new gasoline retailing business within the 100+-year-old firm’s core business of high-quality prepared foods and beverages. The case charges students with defining the business and organization strategy necessary to “mainstream” the newly proven gasoline retailing concept throughout the company.

Learning Objectives

Students will learn:

  • How corporate entrepreneurship occurs within established firms
  • About redefining the core business and understanding organic growth beyond the core
  • The critical role of leadership in any large-scale change process
  • Number of Pages: 3

    Extended Case Information

    Teaching Areas: Entrepreneurship, Management, Strategy

    Teaching Note Available: Yes

    Geographic: Mid-Atlantic/New England, U.S.

    Industry: Retail: Food & Gasoline

    Organization Name: Wawa, Inc.

    Organization Department: Senior Corporate & New Business Team

    Organization Size: Medium

    Decision Maker Position: Chairman & CEO, and VP, New Business

    Decision Maker Gender: Male

    Year of Case: 2004