Influx of Convenience Stores Opening Across Florida

The Bradenton Herald recently reported an exponential increase of convenience stores popping up throughout Florida, including the Tampa area. Two companies have been the main contributors to the mini-mart proliferation in the sunshine state: Wawa and RaceTrac. The developers of these stores are attracted to Florida because of real estate prices and increasing population. The stores’ business model is to provide gasoline, food, and other convenience items to consumers.

The Herald reports that “Atlanta-based RaceTrac, among convenience stores expanding in Florida and other states, is known for selling gasoline at some of the lowest prices around. Its stores are becoming larger and offering more food, including sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit.” A large portion of RaceTrac’s new stores in the past several years have been developed in Florida, and Wawa isn’t far behind. While RaceTrac is developing throughout Florida, Wawa seems to be booming in the Tampa and Orlando areas, specifically.

With increased convenience stores and the lure of fast shopping and low prices, consumers will only increase the amount of time they spend in mini-marts over the coming years. However, convenience can sometimes come with a price. Many consumers are injured in stores such as Wawa, RaceTrac, and 7-11 when they experience a fall injury or a trip and fall injury. These accidents don’t seem like they would cause serious damage, but they sometimes do. Slip and fall accidents can even be fatal.

If you shop in a Wawa or RaceTrac regularly, you should always be aware of your surroundings and use caution. The owners of these establishments have a responsibility to protect their customers from unreasonably dangerous conditions in the store. However, store owners can be negligent in the inspection and maintenance of the premises, which places their patrons at risk. Dangers in a convenience store include conditions both outside and inside the building.

Parking lot falls are a serious issue in convenience stores and grocery stores. Parking areas must have even walking surfaces that are free of potholes and broken walkways, railings and other safety features to prevent falls on stairs, and properly marked parking spots, walkways, and steps. If you fall in a convenience store parking area, you risk serious injury from broken bones, contusions, and lacerations from an impact with the ground.

Inside the store, there could be additional dangers. Spills, broken display cases, faulty carpeting or faulty floor tiles can all cause serious injury if the customer slips and falls. In convenience stores, sometimes water can pool on the floor from excessive condensation in a refrigerated cooler. Spilled beverages and dropped food items can also cause serious injury if they are not cleaned in a reasonable amount of time by the store’s staff.

If you were hurt in a Wawa store, RaceTrac store, or some other convenience store, you should consider filing a premises liability lawsuit. Brooks Law Group would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us by calling 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: [email protected].

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.