Kum & Go Aims for Top Spot Among C-Store Chains

At last count, the Kum & Go chain operates 38 stores in Arkansas. The company is touted as the fifth largest privately held convenience store chain in the nation, operating more than 400 stores in 11 states in Middle America.

Its stated mission is to become the No. 1 convenience retailer in the U.S. by 2021. Forbes ranked Kum & Go, with 2012 revenue of $2.6 billion, No. 173 among the nation’s largest private companies.

Based in West Des Moines, Iowa, Kum & Go’s 4,000-plus workforce extends to Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri.

In Pulaski County, the company has developed six projects: at 5216 JFK Blvd., 8801 Maumelle Blvd. and 3220 Springhill Drive in North Little Rock; 7620 Baseline Road and 6201 Col. Glenn Road in Little Rock; and 3400 E. Kiehl Ave. in Sherwood.

A seventh is in the works on the western edge of Maumelle on the west side of Highway 365 at the north end of Maumelle Boulevard.

The Kum & Go pattern of expansion is to buy and develop a location, then sell the completed project and lease it back.

The 53-year-old company is led by Kyle Krause, named president in 1997 and CEO in 2004 and the third generation of family ownership.

A soccer enthusiast, Krause has owned the Des Moines Menace, a Premier Development League soccer team, since 1998. He launched a Women’s League soccer team in 2012.

Kum & Go and Krause are noted for their philanthropic ways, yearly donating 10 percent of annual profits to charities and educational causes.

The company also is recognized for its deployment of green technology and design elements in its stores.

The Kum & Go proprietary product lines include Nuclear energy drinks, Go Fresh Market sandwiches and Java Ridge Premium Coffee as well as Napa Creek and Sea Ridge wines.