Pop Culture

All Kum & Go Stores Will Be Gone by 2025

Utah retailer Maverik has decided to retire the Midwestern convenience store chain.

By 2025, the Kum & Go brand will disappear after more than 60 years and four generations under Krause ownership, a half-dozen sources told CSP Daily News.

After closing on the storied Iowa convenience store chain with approximately 400 stores, Utah retailer Maverik has decided to retire the Kum & Go brand. Founder Bill Krause and his father-in-law Tony Gentle launched Kum & Go in 1963.

Multiple sources familiar with Maverik’s broader strategy explained to CSP Daily News that upon further consideration and comprehensive analysis, the Maverik brand resonated more strongly in its markets than Kum & Go did in the heart of the Midwestern region.

“I think there was some concern about the inadvertent double entendre of the Kum & Go name,” a former Maverik member shared with the outlet. “I also believe that [Maverik CEO] Chuck Maggelet envisions growing Maverik into a multi-regional brand, and he’s not deterred by Casey’s, Kwik Trip or other well-respected brands in the Midwest.”

CSP’s Top 202 ranking for the largest chains in early 2023 had ranked Maverik at No. 21 with 404 stores in 12 states, followed by Kum & Go at No. 22 with 397 in 11 states. Nevertheless, priorities had drastically changed at both companies.

A year ago, Maverik’s owners were about to reap huge financial rewards. The FJ Management company, owned by the Maggelet family, including Maverik CEO Charles Maggelet, found itself with significant assets when Pilot Co. passed to Berkshire Hathaway last January.

Kum & Go was led by 4th-generation Krause family member Tanner Krause, but his father, Kyle Krause, maintained financial control. Amid the Maggelet family’s financial boom, Kyle Krause was refocusing his portfolio and interests. While decreasing his involvement in Kum & Go operations, Kyle Krause had increased investments in Italian vineyards as well as Italian soccer club Parma Calcio 1913, which he purchased 90% ownership of in the fall of 2020.

Also last year, Kyle Krause worked with Polk County officials to raise money for a $500 million project in downtown Des Moines, including the construction of a professional soccer stadium that Krause+, the real estate division of the Krause Group, will own.

“Kyle’s passion has always been soccer,” a source near the family told CSP Daily News. “If there was a victim in all of this, it was their convenience chain,” the source added. “Tanner loved running Kum & Go and was bringing in his own culture, including outreaches to the African-American and LGBTQ+ communities.”

The Krause family needed cash to pursue its other interests, and Maverik, which was eager to make an impact, struck a deal with Krause. As part of this proposed $2-billion deal, Maverik agreed to keep the 5,000 employees of Kum & Go.

It was announced last April by Maggelet that Kum & Go’s in Utah and the Intermountain West region would be rebranded to Maverik. Initially, Maggelet was ambivalent about Kum & Go’s network, telling the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) during that time, “We think we can bring a lot of what’s really good about Maverik into the Kum & Go world without necessarily rebranding and will continue to evaluate future changes.”

However, Maverik’s leadership decided in late fall/early winter that it would retire the Kum & Go brand, according to CSP Daily News. “Their [Maverik’s] big-picture plans are for further acquisitions and market expansion,” a source told the outlet. “It’s probably easier to focus on one brand for efficiencies and brand/consumer awareness across the country.”

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