DES MOINES, Iowa — Convenience-store retailer Kum & Go LC has been selected for Mars Wrigley Confectionery’s Innovative Merchandising Incubator, a new platform that offers retailers custom merchandising solutions and shopper-experience strategies to drive in-store sales.
Mars Wrigley introduced the incubator program in April. The company evaluated potential retailers on factors such as national or regional brand presence, number of stores, a progressive mindset and a willingness to implement Mars Wrigley’s in-store recommendations.
Kum & Go is one of two retailers selected for the program. The other will be revealed later this summer, Mars Wrigley said.
“We are thrilled to be chosen as this year’s retailer for the Innovative Merchandising Incubator and begin our new test-and-learn with Mars Wrigley,” said Stephanie Poitry, senior category manager of center store for Kum & Go. “We’ve worked with Mars Wrigley for many years to offer the products our shoppers love. With this opportunity, we’ll be able to create a better retail experience and get ahead of the changing marketplace with innovative solutions stemming from this customized test.”
Kum & Go’s customized program is still being created and will likely begin in the second half of 2019, Mars Wrigley said. At the end of the testing period, Kum & Go and Mars Wrigley will evaluate the program’s success and determine if new or additional recommendations are needed to drive sales in 2020 and beyond.
“Many retailers are now looking to evolve their shopping experience, and collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Mars Wrigley,” said Shaf Lalani, vice president of customer experience for the company. “We are committed to working with retailers, national and regional, to understand their business and implement insights and recommendations that propel the category. After reviewing each applicant, we knew Kum & Go was the best choice to develop trailblazing solutions because of their fearlessness to test first-of-its-kind recommendations and loyal customer following.”
McLean, Va.-based Mars Inc. is a global manufacturer with more than $35 billion in sales. Its candy brands, under the Mars Wrigley Confectionery division include Snickers, M&M’s, Dove, Milky Way, Twix, Doublemint and Skittles.
Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Kum & Go employs more than 5,000 associates in nearly 400 stores in 11 states (Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming). The company ranked No. 18 in CSP's2019 Top 202 ranking of convenience-store chains by number of retail locations.