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    Northwest Arkansas Embracing Casey's General Stores

    New stores in higher-populated areas are seeing positive results.

    FORT SMITH, Ark. -- Casey's General Stores is based in Iowa, but the convenience store retailer is making an investment in northwest Arkansas that's already paying off, according to a City Wire report. The company built eight new stores in and around Benton County over the past two years, and there are plans for six more.

    "We are very pleased with the growth we have seen in northwest Arkansas over the past year or so. The young stores are firing at higher levels than others in our network. The communities across northwest Arkansas seem to have embraced our brand," said Chief Financial Officer Bill Walljasper.

    While Casey's generally enters towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, it decided to open more than a dozen stores in more heavily populated areas of northwest Arkansas, according to the report. The $35 million investment has already helped Casey's take market share away from competing c-stores and quick-service restaurants, Walljasper told the news outlet.

    Of the planned stores for the region, five are already under construction in Siloam Springs, Tontitown, Centerton, Springdale and Rogers. Construction on a second location in Bella Vista is expected to begin within a few months.

    The retailer spends approximately $2.4 million to $2.7 million on new stores, which occupy an average of 4,200 square feet, with land costs varying. "We work with select contractors in local areas for these jobs and have been quite busy with new projects over the past year or so," Walljasper said.

    Casey's currently owns and operates approximately 1,700 stores in 14 states.

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