WEST DES MOINES —
WEST DES MOINES – It was a banner year for Kum & Go. In 2012, the privately held convenience store chain built a record 43 new stores in nine states — more than double its previous record of 21 new stores in 2009. The chain’s total reach is now 430 stores in 11 states.
Kum & Go president and CEO Kyle J. Krause credits the company’s success to its unique approach. “We build a different kind of convenience store,” Krause explained. “Our new stores are spacious — 5,000 square feet versus our previous design of 3,500 square feet. They’re comfortable for our guests, with wide aisles, attractive designs and plenty of lighting. The larger footprint also allows us to offer a wider variety of freshly made food, including made-to-order pizzas, deli sandwiches and baked goods — all made daily at each store’s on-site kitchen.”
In addition to expanding in its existing markets, Kum & Go is targeting growth in new markets. “We entered the Little Rock, Arkansas, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, markets this year,” Krause said. “These two brand new markets show our determination to identify favorable metropolitan areas that meet our new store criteria and offer strong growth potential.”
Kum & Go plans to continue its growth strategy in the coming years. “We’re not letting up,” Krause said. “Our growth plan for the next five years is just as aggressive.”
The economic impact of Kum & Go’s growth is significant. Each new store costs more than $4 million to build — a total of more than $170 million in 2012 alone. “In total,” Krause said, “we’ve directly created over 800 new jobs at Kum & Go and countless new career opportunities — not to mention the new store economic impact of supporting jobs in construction including electricians, plumbers and more. In tough economic times when others are letting people go, we're hiring.”
New Kum & Go stores feature an increased focus on sustainability. “All of our new store prototypes since 2011 are submitted for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification,” Krause said. Currently, 17 stores are LEED certified. Another 19 have been submitted for certification, and 28 are registered. Eco-friendly store features include sustainable materials, reflective concrete, high-efficiency equipment, alternative fuels, LED lighting, daylighting, water-saving fixtures and more.
“As part of our sustainability, we offer many types of different bio-fuel options, including both E10 and E85 ethanol products,” said Krause. “These fuel options support our local agricultural economies while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. At the same time, we’re a leader in auto diesel, with more than two-thirds of our locations offering auto diesel at the pump.”
The company’s social responsibility also includes giving back to the communities in which it operates. Kum & Go shares 10 percent of its profits with charitable and educational causes each year. Members of the Kum & Go team are also encouraged to give of their time to important local causes.