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Casey's Sees QT Hometown as Growth Market

TULSA, Okla. — Casey's General Stores Inc. opened a new convenience store in Verdigris, Okla., in January, marking its fourth in the general Tulsa area.

The company reportedly sees the region as a growth market, despite the fact that Tulsa is QuikTrip Corp.'s home city, according to Tulsa World.

Other Casey's stores have opened in Jenks and Broken Arrow, Okla. The company deviated from its habit of opening stores in towns with populations of approximately 5,000 people for these metro area stores. Casey's also has a store in Skiatook, Okla.

The Verdigris store is more in line with Casey's typical plans, as it has a population of around 4,200 people, Tulsa World reported.

"We tend to focus more on a little more of a rural setting," said James Pistillo, Casey's vice president of accounting, told the news outlet. "Towns with 5,000 people or less tend to be in our wheelhouse, but we do have opportunities where generally speaking that we're looking at a different style and a different business model than QT. I don't know that that can't coexist."

QuikTrip typically operates in urban areas. Both c-store chains have stores in Broken Arrow and Jenks, and QuikTrip also has a presence in Casey's home market in Iowa.

"They're in our backyard here in Des Moines," Pistillo said.

Pistillo noted that Casey's focuses on small towns because the company wants to become part of the fabric of the community and is looking for repeat customers. When it enters a town, it is key to spread the word about the chain's prepared food offerings.

"A couple of other things people don't always realize, we compete in a lot of different markets because we compete with pizza manufacturers," Pistillo said. "We're fifth on the list of top pizza manufacturers by units in the country."

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's General Stores currently operates 1,947 convenience stores.

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