Casey’s General Stores Inc. plans to add about 350 new locations during the next three years.
The convenience store currently operates more than 2,200 stores in 16 states. With a large network of stores built around its two distribution centers, Casey’s believes there are significant infill opportunities, “particularly in midsize and suburban markets, to augment our outward expansion," Brian Johnson, senior VP of store development, said during the retailer's 2020 Investor Day in New York, reported Chain Store Age sister publication Convenience Store News.
“We believe our differentiated business model, which includes self distribution and our best-in-class prepared food offering, allows us to operate profitably in all markets — from suburban Chicago down to rural communities under 1,000 people," Johnson said. "This gives us a significant addressable market to further expand our brand."
Casey's has taken a two-pronged approach to growth, with both new construction and acquisitions. The company is reorganizing its development team to have a dedicated M&A group that will focus solely on smaller acquisitions.
"There are a lot of targets out there,” Johnson said. “We have identified over 400 single-store operators in our area and there are approximately 2,500 stores that are in chains of 100 or less," Johnson said. “Although the smaller chains and single stores may not grab the headlines, we feel it is a great place to play.”
At the same time, Casey's "will not shy away from larger strategic deals, should they become available," Johnson added.