Casey's Rolling Out 'Pizza Express' Concept

Will offer targeted foodservice menu

ANKENY, Iowa -- Casey's General Stores Inc. is testing a new concept that will focus on one of the convenience store chain's customer favorites--pizza. The retailer is opening a Casey's Pizza Express location on  Aug. 1 in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, according to a report by The Des Moines Register.

The 1,600-square-foot store will sell whole and by the slice pizza, fountain drinks, bread sticks and chicken wings, and it will feature a self-serve frozen yogurt bar with several flavors and toppings, said the report.

The pizza-only store will help take some of the burden off Casey’s existing store, which has a brisk pizza delivery business, CFO Bill Walljasper told the newspaper. Cigarettes, groceries and doughnuts will not be sold at the store.

"It will be a standalone pizza store without the other amenities," he said.

The Ankeny, Iowa-based company--already famous for its in-store pizza offering--has been adding pizza-delivery service in a measured rollout that has grown cash flow, Walljasper said during its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this month.

Early results of Casey's pizza-delivery initiative, which launched in early 2011 in Grimes, Iowa, show stores "experiencing 25% to 30% increases in prepared food sales upon the rollout of pizza delivery to a store," Walljasper said. "We converted an additional 50 stores to the program in April, bringing our total to 274 stores delivering pizza. It is our intention to add another 57 stores to this program in July, and another 50 stores later this fiscal year."

Casey's owns and operates approximately 1,750 c-stores in 14 Greater Midwestern states--Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee.