ANKENY, Iowa — In January 2020, Casey's General Stores Inc. outlined three strategic pillars for moving forward: reinvent the guest experience, create capacities through efficiencies and be where the guest is through unit growth.
Now, as the convenience store retailer prepares to lay out a new plan for the next three years, President and CEO Darren Rebelez credited successful execution of the agenda Casey's set in 2020 to the company's team members.
"The results speak for themselves and are a reflection of the hard work of the team and their dedication to executing our three-year strategic plan," Rebelez said during Casey's earnings call for the fourth quarter of its 2023 fiscal year, held June 7.
"Our team had to navigate through a global pandemic and the effects therein, including restricted traffic [and] labor shortages in an inflationary environment. We adapted to the situation and thrived in it as you can see with our results," he said.
Zeroing in on the individual pillars, the chief executive noted that the Casey's Rewards program has been a key driver behind reinventing the guest experience. "We made a commitment to enhance our brand and drive digital engagement, and we did just that with over 6.5 million members through May of 2023," he said. "And this helped drive results, as our same-store inside sales were at the high end of our guidance."
As for the other two pieces of the plan, he pointed out that Casey's captured efficiency while continuing to grow. "The team worked exceptionally hard to make the stores work harder for us, culminating in reducing same-store labor hours in fiscal 2023 by over 2 percent while keeping team members engaged and guests satisfied," he said.
According to Rebelez, growth came through a mix of organic growth and acquisitions. "We made a bold commitment to accelerate our growth and we exceeded our own high standard of 345 new units, ending the three-year period with 354 new stores," he reported.
"Casey's has shown tremendous resiliency and we're positioned especially well to deliver future value to our shareholders through our strategic plan, which is being enhanced with our commitment to technology. This was all made possible by making investments in the talent at Casey's," Rebelez added.
"Our investment in a standalone M&A [mergers and acquisition] team drove record growth; centralized procurement helped keep our shelves stocked at lower costs, despite supply chain challenges; centralized fuel operations allowed us to balance fuel volume and margin; and countless other teams within the organization helped make these last three years some of the most successful in the history of the company," he concluded.
Casey's will lay out its next three-year strategic plan during an Investor Day on June 27.
Ankeny-based Casey's operates 2,521 convenience stores. Founded more than 50 years ago, the company has grown to become the third-largest convenience store retailer and the fifth-largest pizza chain in the United States.