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Casey’s Outlines Plan to Satisfy Investors

Retailer implementing key initiatives, refreshing board

ANKENY, Iowa -- Casey's General Stores Inc. is touting several key initiatives to increase profitability, improve operational performance and enhance shareholder value, the company said in an update to shareholders coinciding with the release of its third-quarter earnings. It has also refreshed its board of directors.

The initiatives come as Casey's looks to satisfy activist investors who have called on the company to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company.

The initiatives include:

  • Digital engagement. The Casey's digital-engagement program will enable a “seamless” customer experience, both online and in-store, that offers new digital product categories and facilitates personalized marketing and rewards. A new CMO whose appointment is “imminent” will lead digital implementation, according to Casey’s.
  • A fleet card. Casey's expects its fleet-card program, led by a team with relevant implementation and execution experience, to increase fuel sales by 2% in its first full year, the company said. This program will increase volumes over time and drive increased store traffic.
  • Price optimization. Casey's is transforming its marketing through price-optimization initiatives for both fuel and in-store purchases. It expects these initiatives, which will centralize the chain’s fuel pricing strategy and optimize its product pricing and assortment across all categories, to provide increased visibility and precision to the company's pricing and promotion strategy.
  • Cost reduction. Casey's is continuing to focus on implementing its ongoing cost-reduction measures and managing its store-level operating expenses.
  • Reallocation of capital. Casey's plans to allocate additional capital, available due to reduced remodel and replacement requirements combined with anticipated tax-reform benefits, toward opportunities to increase shareholder value. It will prioritize investment in high-return growth and profitability initiatives, including digital engagement and price optimization, as well as continued pursuit of disciplined store growth and strategic acquisition opportunities.
  • Board changes. Casey's has appointed three new independent directors and named independent director H. Lynn Horak the new chairman of the board. Horak is the retired regional chairman of Wells Fargo Regional Banking. The other new directors include Donald Frieson, former executive vice president of operations of Sam’s Club, a division of Walmart; David Lenhardt, former president and CEO of PetSmart; and Allison Wing, former chief marketing lead officer and executive vice president of digital channels for Ascena Retail Group.
  • Governance changes. Casey’s also announced other governance changes, including the adoption of proxy access, majority voting in director elections (subject to shareholder approval) and implementation of director age and tenure limitations.

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s has more than 2,000 c-stores in 15 mostly Midwestern states, located primarily in towns with populations of 5,000 or fewer people.

Watch for more details in CSP Daily News.


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