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Wawa: Bringing Together the Ultimate Associate Experience

Wawa logo


Wawa needed a new online portal that could scale to their growing workforce of more than 38,000 in addition to streamlining and centralizing multiple online storefronts, which up to then were being run individually. Wawa partnered with HALO to achieve this goal.

The Challenge:
Streamlining Programs

Wawa, a chain of 900+ convenience stores and gas stations across the Eastern U.S., is renowned for its operational excellence, iconic Canada Goose mascot, and strong brand recognition among its associates and customers. The Wawa brand is a large part of their work culture, and as such recognizing associates for supporting it is vital to management. To reinforce this connection, they ran multiple online storefronts where associate could purchase branded gear and other items to show their “Goose Pride”.

In 2019, Wawa sought to consolidate suppliers and explored what was available in the marketplace. They needed a new online system that could scale to their growing workforce of more than 38,000 in addition to streamlining and centralizing multiple online storefronts, which up to then were being run individually. The three storefronts were already popular among associates, so their replacement would have to be familiar with new functionality. Wawa partnered with HALO to achieve this goal.

The Solution:
Consolidated Portal

HALO worked with Wawa to build a new centralized system that could provide universal access through a single branded portal. During the discovery process with HALO, Wawa found value in adding a recognition component to the overall program, tying the entire online experience together and giving them more ways to engage associates. HALO’s solution kept everything Wawa associates loved about their old company stores, while delivering an optimal user experience, upgraded catalogs, and an assortment of tools for managers and associates alike to reinforce a culture of excellence around an already beloved brand.

The Goose Pride Store, Wawa’s corporate merchandise and employee recognition portal, rolled out in October 2019, featuring a consolidated platform where associates can find their three popular branded merchandise stores, as well as the employee recognition program Goose Bumps. Geese Gear treated associates to a revamped branded merchandise selection. A Uniform Store was included, as well as a Marketing Support store where managers could order promotional items for their workplaces.

The Goose Bumps program is Wawa’s highly successful associate recognition program, that enables Wawa managers to instantly reward front line associates for meeting the criteria of the program with a scratch reward card. Wawa associates can redeem the cards through the branded portal, earning recognition points toward anything Goose Bumps has to offer, including an expanded assortment of gift cards, robust merchandise offering, and Wawa swag.

The Results:
Deepened Brand Connection

With the help of Wawa associates’ enthusiastic support of the brand, the program has been a resounding success for everyone involved. Putting everything on a central online portal providing all platforms accessible anywhere via Single Sign-On has made it more widespread and easy to use, and the added recognition component has given management several new avenues to increase overall engagement and satisfaction while increasing the frequency of recognition amongst their associates.

The recognition program has also performed well, demonstrating its importance in the associate experience at Wawa:

First Year Program Highlights:

  • More than 300,000 awards have been given out.
  • More than 60,000 Wawa-logoed items have been ordered by associates since the program launched.
  • 95% of Wawa associates engaged with the new platform, with 89% earning Goose Bumps points via the recognition system.

Wawa’s program owners and HR leaders are thrilled with the new program. “We feel confident in the strategy and service delivery”, says Wawa People Team lead Raechelle Jackson. “It can scale to meet future needs while keeping our administration manageable, as well as provide metrics on program success, and the recognition component adds new ways to reinforce our brand and culture.” Following the launch of Goose Bumps, Service Awards and retirement programs were reintroduced, deepening its connection with associates. Wawa’s continued partnership with HALO provides opportunities to develop other recognition experiences that compliment Wawa’s recognition strategy and continue to enhance the associate experience.

Flying Higher Than Ever

Their stores may stretch from New Jersey to Florida but partnering with a single-source provider like HALO gave Wawa the resources to bring all their branded merchandise efforts under one umbrella while adding an exciting, high-performing associate recognition program to the mix. As a result, Program owners have more peace of mind and “Goose Pride” is flying higher than ever.