Retail Disruption Watch (June 2020)
DES MOINES, Iowa — Kum & Go is gradually reshaping itself for the future. This transformation has multiple fronts, including technology, design, sustainability and a focus on social justice.
- Kum & Go is No. 18 on CSP’s 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by number of retail outlets.
In the last three months alone Kum & Go has begun or executed on a number of forward-looking initiatives. Some are reactionary, such as offering new services in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Others are more long term, such as adopting analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve operations.
Click through for six ways Kum & Go is equipping itself to become the convenience store of the future …
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kum & Go began testing full-service fueling and curbside pickup in select locations around the greater Des Moines area.
As more consumers grow used to social distancing while coronavirus is still present in many communities, adopting curbside pickup is one example of Kum & Go’s forward-looking strategy.
Mobile fuel pay
In May, Kum & Go introduced a new mobile fuel payment option through the Kum & Go app, available for use at all locations.
The app verifies the customer’s credit card and handles payment. The customer enters the pump number on their mobile device and begins fueling. CEO Tanner Krause displayed how to use the app in this tweet.
Kum & Go’s first walk-up, no-fuel location is a new concept for the 60-year-old chain. The location also focuses on sustainability, with recycled paper bags and compostable silverware and straws.
This pilot location also pays tribute to the legacy of Edna Griffin, the civil rights pioneer and human rights activist, with an art installation by Jordan Weber, a Des Moines artist and activist whose work focuses on inner-city communities nationwide.
Kum & Go is the first c-store chain to tap into the personalized digital media network from Catalina.
St. Petersburg, Fla.,-based Catalina uses scaled dataset of anonymized shopper data from more than 90 million households and more than 11 billion shopper trips annually, providing ad messages and offers to consumers with purchase-based targeting.
Chief marketing officer
In June, Kum & Go hired Traci Ging as chief marketing officer, who intends to continue the company’s movement toward the future of retail.
“I look forward to bringing more innovation and creative partnerships to our food program, advancing digital tools for greater convenience and continuing to live our values every step of the way,” said Ging.
The Des Moines-based retailer is adopting CB4, which works to improve retail operations through the use of AI.
C-store managers use New York-based CB4 to find opportunities where taking a few minutes to make an in-store adjustment could lead to a boost in sales of a specific product. This includes replenishing products left in the stock room, resolving out-of-stocks, correcting ticketing and pricing errors and anything else that makes it difficult for shoppers to easily find and purchase what they want.