Customer counts matter to Bill Walljasper, chief financial officer at Casey’s General Stores Inc. as regular readers of this blog know. Walljasper the consummate CFO stated during the Q2 earnings call that “Casey's General Stores Inc. will roll out a mobile app with the new year, to be followed by a "comprehensive" marketing campaign in January”.
Walljasper said that Casey’s is primed for operational & unit growth and garnering incremental customers and sales will come with the roll out of a new mobile app. Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food will garner the bulk of the attention from customers.
According to Walljasper the initial results are “very favorable and range from an increase in whole-pie orders (Pizza)to an increase in add-on sales, like extra toppings, breadsticks and buffalo wings….Online ordering is a service that, quite frankly, many of our customers demand. That's how they interact with business. It will be similar to when we rolled out pay at the pump years and years ago. You really need that to stay competitive,"
"I think this is one of those things that not only do we need to have to touch more customers [who] may not be interacting with us, but to also drive other sales from our current customers," he added. "We're excited about it."
It is easy to see why the team at Casey’s is excited. Casey's prepared food and fountain category also continued its strong performance, with total sales up 14 percent to $229.4 million for the quarter. Same-store sales were up 9.4 percent with an average margin of 63.4 percent — up 410 basis points from a year ago, primarily driven by lower commodity costs and prior retail price increases, according to Walljasper.
Year to date, same-store sales in prepared food and fountain were up 9.8 percent. Due to the sales increases and margin enhancement, Casey's grew its gross profit dollars in the quarter nearly 22 percent to $145.5 million.
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