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Sheetz to close downtown Waynesboro store

July 09, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A 25-year-old Sheetz store in downtown Waynesboro will close Sunday because company officials felt the property was too small to accommodate the convenience store chain's newer offerings, like the Sheetz Bros. Coffeez espresso bar.

Monica Jones, a company spokeswoman, said Tuesday the 24-hour store at the intersection of Pa. 16 and Walnut Street is about half the size of today's model stores, which are 4,500 to 5,000 square feet.

The company really struggled with space recently when it added a fryer to the Waynesboro business in order to offer items like french fries and onion rings, Jones said.

"This store has never gone through a major remodel," Jones said, saying most of the older stores have by now if they weren't replaced. However, the Waynesboro store remained landlocked, she said.

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The Waynesboro store opened in December 1982 as the 85th one opened by the chain, which started in 1952 in Altoona, Pa. A ribbon-cutting ceremony last week officially opened the 350th store, with 199 of them in Pennsylvania.

Sheetz, which leased the Waynesboro site, will remove the underground fuel storage tanks according to state and federal guidelines, Jones said.

"I have no idea what the timetable is for any of that," she said.

Jones said the company felt connected to the Waynesboro community and conducted "an intense search of other property in Waynesboro." That search failed to turn up a site that would serve Sheetz's needs, she said.

"Our store, the longer it's there, the more community-oriented it gets," Jones said.

However, the company needs to ensure people in Waynesboro "have the same experience customers are having at other stores," she said.

Jones said the 20 full-time and part-time employees will be offered opportunities at other area stores, which include one in Greencastle, Pa., and a store that opened recently in Rouzerville, Pa.

"We're really working hard to make sure they all keep their jobs," Jones said.

Jones lamented the potential loss of longtime customers.

"They hang out, they come in, they get their cup of coffee, and they're our regulars," she said. "The community has been really good to us for 25 years."

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