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WEST DES MOINES, IOWA -- Kum & Go, the family-owned, privately-held convenience store chain based here, will invest $70 to $80 million to open 20 to 25 new stores in Central Arkansas over the next five years.
According to President and CEO Kyle J. Krause, Central Arkansas was selected as the site for future expansion from among a highly competitive group of 85 metropolitan statistic areas in 16 states. Kum & Go, founded in 1959 in Hampton, Iowa, currently operates more than 400 convenience stores in 11 states (including Arkansas).
"Two things stood out to our senior management about Central Arkansas," said Krause. "First, there is a strong sense of family and core values that clearly resonates throughout the area. This is extremely important to us, since Kum & Go is a family-owned business and we are actively involved in the communities that we do business. Second, Central Arkansas is committed to future growth. Whenever we visited Central Arkansas, it was clear that local residents, business leaders and elected officials were dedicated to attracting quality companies and creating new jobs."
Kum & Go plans to break ground in August and September 2011 on three new Central Arkansas stores. The locations include: 5306 JFK in North Little Rock; Chicot and Baseline in Little Rock; and Pine & Campground in Cabot. Kum & Go anticipates having its first grand-opening event in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Kum & Go is no stranger to the state. The company first came to Arkansas after acquiring a handful of stores in 1998. Now, Kum & Go has 25 locations in Arkansas that employ more than 260 associates in eight counties.
In making the announcement about Arkansas yesterday, Krause also highlighted Kum & Go impressive record for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.
Earlier this year, Kum & Go received the prestigious "2011 Hussmann-Trane Energy Efficiency Award." It was the first convenience store chain to be honored with this national award. Previous retail winners include Whole Foods and Kroger.
A distinguishing feature of Kum & Go is the company's strong emphasis on "going green" by incorporating sustainable features into its store designs, said Krause. Other Kum & Go stores utilizing this design scheme have received Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification.
The focus on sustainability begins at construction and continues through the store's daily operations. Materials used for the construction will be sustainable, coming from local companies whenever possible.
"We have a duty to be environmentally responsible," said Krause. "It is a serious responsibility that continually benefits our customers and the communities in which we do business."
Kum & Go stores also feature another green element: Solatube skylights. Solatube skylights provide natural light that decrease the energy used in overhead lighting. In addition, advanced refrigeration systems are installed, increasing energy efficiency through improved technology and LED lighting in the coolers. Kum & Go stores are on an automated system that will regulate energy use and lighting systems in order to create a more energy efficient store.