ANKENY, Iowa — Casey's General Stores Inc. has ramped up its in-store efforts around foodservice and topped it off with a digital push. The combination is producing strong results for the retailer.
In its prepared food and fountain category, the convenience store operator reported sales were up 6.8 percent, reaching $273.6 million for the third quarter of its 2020 fiscal year.
"We are excited about the acceleration we experienced in prepared foods and remain optimistic about the category moving forward," CEO Darren Rebelez said during a call discussing the company's third-quarter earnings, held March 10.
In addition, same-store sales accelerated each month throughout the third quarter, with gains in January exceeding Casey's annual guidance. Overall, same-store sales for the period increased 2.8 percent.
"We were pleased with the acceleration in our comps throughout the quarter and the momentum we have gained heading into the fourth quarter," Rebelez said. "Although early, the recently launched rewards program is exceeding our expectations."
During Casey's Investor Day on Jan. 9, the retailer indicated it was approaching 1 million active Casey's Rewards members. Now, two months later, membership is approaching the 2-million mark.
"Currently, that number is nearly 1.8 million members and climbing as we enroll new guests every day," Rebelez said. "Overall, our database of identifiable guests has grown to over 6.2 million."
The loyalty program, which debuted Jan. 7, is a first for Casey's. It allows customers across its 16-state footprint to earn points on purchases and redeem them for Casey's Cash and fuel discounts, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
Casey's is excited about the traction it is gaining with its digital platform and how customers are responding to the rewards program.
"Approximately 45 percent of all pizza orders are conducted digitally, and nearly 20 percent of all of our transactions have rewards participation," Rebelez noted. "We look forward to the opportunity to learn more about our guests' preferences, which will allow us to engage and serve them even better.
"We believe that the combination of the new suite of digital platforms will continue to drive additional traffic," he added.
Ankeny-based Casey's operated 2,193 convenience stores in 16 states at the close of the third quarter.