Ankeny-based convenience store chain Casey’s General Stores is reporting it fell short of some of its goals for fiscal 2017. While in-store traffic was up almost three percent at the nearly 2,000-store chain, executives had hoped for 6.2 percent growth. Casey’s President and CEO Terry Handley says the company faced the same pressures in 2017 everyone in the grocery industry confronted.
“We believe this pressure is related to the agricultural economy in our marketing area, the growing spread between pricing of food away and food at home, as well as increased promotional activities of other competitors,” he says.
In the prepared food and fountain category, the goal had been a 10.2 percent increase. The result: 4.8 percent growth. Handley says the year was challenging.
“Like many others in the convenience and grocery store sector, as well as the broader food services industry, we’ve experienced downward pressure on customer traffic, which adversely impacted same-store sales across all of our categories,” he says.
Earnings per share at Casey’s for the fiscal year ending April 30 were $4.48 compared with $5.73 in 2016. Handley says there are agreements in place for 116 new stores in the coming months. Casey’s is lowering expectations for 2018, projecting growth in sales of between two-and-four percent for groceries and between five-and-seven percent for prepared foods.