A Gander at the Big Goose

Higgins, Kevin T.
July 2004
Marketing Management;Jul/Aug2004, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p20
This article presents an interview with Rob Price, senior vice president and CMO of Philadelphia retailer Wawa Inc. The company has been a going concern for two centuries and has been involved in armaments, dairy, and other activities. It has gone from guns to butter. There is an active family ownership that always has emphasized deep relationships with employees and customers. After 1,000 hours of service, associates can begin to have equity, and many of them do. Marketing is not just about negotiating with vendors and merchandising. The company has a department rule that requires everyone to work in the stores each quarter. It is suicide to craft a marketing strategy in a vacuum. There is never a circumstance when store operations has not been involved in a marketing launch. If they were not, the company would make stupid mistakes. Improving the company's technological infrastructure is going to require reaching out and working with information technology to develop a system invented for our specific needs. One of the pleasant surprises at Wawa is that it has employees in both information technology and marketing with backgrounds in the stores. Store managers who want to pursue their education are encouraged to do so. The real challenge which the company is facing is the developing a system while dealing with the limitations of scarce resources.


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