New York (CNN)Convenience store operator Wawa is testing a new store format as people look for contactless ways to shop during the pandemic.
Wawa said the 1,850 sq-ft test store is expected to open in December in Falls Township, Pennsylvania. It’s one of two drive-thru locations planned this year. (The other one will be in Westhampton, New Jersey).
At the Pennsylvania store, shoppers will pull up to a drive-thru window to place their order and a Wawa employee will process payment and hand over their items, the company said.
If the drive-thru line gets too long, or if someone has a large order, customers will be directed to curbside parking where the order is brought out to the car.
Wawa, which operates 900 stores nationwide, said the idea for the drive-thru store was already in the works prior to the coronavirus outbreak, but it accelerated plans to test the concept as the virus continued to spread in the United States.
In June, the company also launched curbside pickup at select locations and has expanded home delivery to most of its markets.
The drive-thru concept isn’t entirely new. Florida-based Farm Stores opened its first location in Miami in 1957. It was a tiny 350-square-foot drive-thru that sold fresh food like milk, butter, bread, eggs and ice cream.
Customers would order at the window and an employee would then walk out to their car and deliver the items. The company now has about 70 Farm Stores drive-thru locations in Florida and is expanding to New York, New Jersey, Texas and Pennsylvania.
Wawa plans to expand the drive thru concept to other locations if it is successful.