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May 9, 2013

Casey's Crew Cooking Up Plan to Win Cookie Contest

Lila Spray removes the latest batch of fresh-baked cookies at Casey’s General Store in Memphis as the local crew is working hard to top the company’s May sales contest.

After moving up a step each of the past two years, the employees of the Casey's General Store in Memphis have set their sights on the top of the podium and a first place finish in the company's annual cookie contest.

"Two years ago we finished in third place and then last year we had the second best sales in the district," said store manager Gina Kittle. "This year we are striving for the top spot."

The company annually hosts the cookie sales contest in May, rewarding the top performers in each district. The more than 1,700 stores compete against the other stores in the company's district layout. Within each district, stores are divided into two divisions, based on store size and community population. Sales are then considered against the store's daily customer counts to produce a contest score.

Employees are working hard to reach the top sales number in the district. The company rewards each employee with a $50 gift card for the number one sales.

However, the customers also are reaping some of the benefits of the store's efforts. A number of specials have been offered throughout the month of May, with one of the more popular promotions being buy one get one free sales. These specials are being provided by area advertisers, who have purchased the free cookies as promotional giveaways, receiving in-store advertising for their efforts.

"It was just one way we thought of to help boost sales," said employee Betty Lodewegen who is heading up the store's efforts. "Customers are more likely to buy a cookie if they get a second one for free, and at the same time they are very appreciative of the sponsors who have made it possible, so they get some great advertising out of it."

The promos worked early on, as the store sold more than 1,200 cookies in the first three days of the contest.

That should help surpass the roughly 12,000 cookies sold last May and could put Memphis in the running for the top spot in the district. But after finishing in the top 25 overall in 2012, a good month could ultimately place Memphis atop the company's overall leader board.

"That would mean free pizza for customers," Kittle said. "If we win the overall contest, not just at the district level, the company provides a community pizza party, with free slices of pizza for customers."

Lodewegen has set a store goal of 500 cookie sales daily. Those efforts have been aided by a number of orders, including bulk sales for community customer appreciation days, open houses and other special events. One business has purchased cookies to be delivered to the school students on the last day of classes.

"There are a lot of ways like that, where Casey's can help fill your need for cookies," Lodewegen said.

For more information contact the store at 465-7726.

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