Casey's Exploring Automation Technologies to Combat Labor Shortage

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Casey's Exploring Automation Technologies to Combat Labor Shortage

Casey's General Stores location

ANKENY, Iowa — Convenience store operators are turning to innovative solutions to meet challenges brought on by today's tight labor market. Casey's General Stores Inc. is one of them.

The c-store retailer is considering adding automated services like ordering kiosks and self-checkout options to its stores, according to the Des Moines Register.

"In those rural markets, we have high-volume locations," Casey's President and CEO Terry Handley told the news outlet before stepping down from his post last month. 

Automation can be an asset for the company and customers, Handley said, noting self-order kiosks can improve accuracy and keep lines moving along. They also create opportunities to "upsell" items.

Automation also may help the company sustain its rural stores where finding workers can be difficult. Ankeny-based Casey's operates more than 2,100 convenience stores in 16 states throughout the Midwest.

A full-time store manager position at a Casey's store in a rural community can be a competitive position, Handley said. However, when it comes to part-time positions, retaining labor becomes much harder.

Casey's does not have a set date to begin implementing automation technology within its stores, but it's just one of several innovations the company is exploring.