Kum & Go
|Industry||Retail (Convenience stores)|
|Founded||Hampton, Iowa (1959)|
|Headquarters||West Des Moines, Iowa|
William Krause and Tony Gentle, Co-founders|
Kyle Krause, CEO
|Revenue||$2.10 billion (2011)|
Number of employees
Kum & Go is a convenience store chain primarily located in the Midwestern United States. The company, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, operates over 400 stores in 11 states—primarily in its home state of Iowa. Other states include: Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming. Kum & Go was ranked as the 23rd-largest convenience store chain in the United States by Convenience Store News in 2010.
The chain was founded by William A. Krause and Tony S. Gentle, who founded the Hampton Oil Company in Hampton, Iowa, in 1959. Hampton Oil eventually became the Krause Gentle Corporation, which is Kum & Go's parent company. In 1963, Krause Gentle introduced the company's first convenience stores, selling both fuel and merchandise items, in which they changed their gas station into a "station store".
The Kum & Go name was adopted in 1975 to unify the company's array of stores under a single brand. It was a play on the phrase "come and go" using the initials of founders Krause and Gentle. Sales of Kum & Go-branded merchandise increased after Johnny Knoxville was seen wearing a Kum & Go T-shirt during a scene in the 2006 movie Jackass Number Two.
Part of the Kum & Go franchise success was due in part to a unique marketing campaign in which they featured the Kum & Go "Gold cup". The cup was introduced in late 2008 for the holiday season. It featured an 8oz coffee mug for $50.00 and benefitted customers by offering unlimited coffee and soda fountain refills for 2009 at any Kum & Go location.
In 1988, Krause Gentle moved the company's corporate headquarters to its current location in West Des Moines, Iowa. William Krause's son Kyle is the current CEO of Krause Gentle. Kum & Go went through a period of rapid expansion in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In addition to building new stores, Krause Gentle acquired unwanted stores from chains such as 7-Eleven, QuikTrip, and Git 'n' Go and converted them to Kum & Go stores. In 2007 and 2008 Kum & Go auctioned off more than 40 of its smaller stores in order to focus on building larger stores ranging in size from 3,600 to 5,000 square feet (460 m2). It was announced in June, 2011, that Kum & Go had reached agreement to sell twenty-two stores, again mostly in smaller rural communities, to rival Casey's General Stores. According to Kum & Go CEO Kyle J. Krause the sale will allow reinvestment in the chains remaining stores and help drive their long-term growth.
In addition to Kum & Go, the Krause Gentle Corporation operates the Des Moines Menace soccer team, Solar Transport (a refined fuel transporter), and Teamwork Acres (a collection of farms in Clarke, Madison, and Warren counties in Iowa). The Krause family was also involved with the Swing of the Quad Cities baseball team until selling the franchise in late 2007.
Kum n Go was sued in 2004 by an Omaha man claiming racial discrimination after being denied access to the public restroom. The lawsuit alleged a pattern of racist behavior by employees ranging from low level store employees to corporate officers. The lawsuit claimed stores in “racially diverse” communities denied access to public spaces, a right guaranteed to citizens pursuant to Nebraska code. While the lawsuit was not without merit, it was dismissed due to a clerical error.
Kum and Go was mentioned in the Desaparecidos song Greater Omaha and in the They Might Be Giants Venue Song Sokol Auditorium. Johnny Knoxville is seen wearing a shirt with the Kum & Go logo in the movie Jackass: Number Two and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Kum and Go was shown in the South Park episode "A Nightmare on Facetime".
- "#208 Kum & Go". Forbes. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "About Kum & Go". Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Longo, Don (2010-07-26). "Top 100 Convenience Stores". Convenience Store News. Archived from the original on 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- "Kum & Go History". Archived from the original on 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- "Kum & Go - Trademark by Kum & Go, L.C." Trademarkia. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- Elbert, David (2006-12-19). "How convenient! Film comes out, T-shirt sales go up". The Des Moines Register. p. 1D.
- "Kum & Go To Sell 21 Locations". Convenience Store News. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2008-08-24.
- "Casey's to purchase 22 Kum & Go stores in Iowa". The Daily Iowegan. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2011-06-06.
- "The Largest Private Companies". Forbes. 2009-10-28. Retrieved 2010-12-08.
- "BILELLO v. KUM GO LLC". FindLaw.
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