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    Casey's Stores Growing and Growing

    In 1989, Casey's General's new store design measured 2,160 square feet. Today, new store plans total 3,788 square feet.

    ANKENY, Iowa -- In the March 8-28, 1989 issue of Convenience Store News, Casey's General Stores' President and CEO Donald Lamberti detailed the chain's new store design -- a 2,160-square-foot facility that would see the addition of kitchens. Today, Casey's is again growing through a new store design that adds roughly 1,000 square feet to the plans, for stores that are 3,788 square feet.

    Lamberti told CSNews the new kitchens would help grow prepared food sales, and five years from then -- 1994 -- 30 percent of inside sales would be prepared food items. "The industry is being more and more accepted by the consumer as a reliable place to buy quality food," he said, adding the chain was just then getting into the chicken business. "That's a hard product because people associate chicken with salmonella. So you've got to develop your quality control first."

    The investment per store for the foodservice program in 1989 were approximately $50,000 to $60,000, he said, with a total store build costing roughly $25,000 to $260,000, including the foodservice equipment. The stores also gained an additional four square feet in the kitchen area.

    In December 2008, CSNews Online reported on the opening of Casey's latest store design, which featured a larger floor plan with more space for food and beverages.

    The 3,788-square-foot store opened in Des Moines, and the extra space will be split between larger beverage coolers and additional space for food, including a sub sandwich counter, a coffee bar and customer seating

    The store's O-shaped design -- named because the cashier now will be in the middle of the store -- is simply a reaction to customer demand for more kinds of beer, energy drinks and other items, according to Terry Handley, chief operating officer for Casey's.

    Approximately a half-dozen stores with the new design were open or nearing completion in late last year, and the company hopes to finish a total of 20 by the end of April. Also, existing stores will eventually be remodeled to add food and cooler space.

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