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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- With a focus on building bigger c-stores, Kum & Go has retained The Energy Exchange of Chicago to oversee a sealed bid auction for 21 of its smaller stores located in Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming.
"During the transition we will assist new operators with regards to contracts, and will provide advice but will not continue to do so after as we are not franchise operators," Kum & Go's Chief Operating Officer, Dennis Folden, told CSNews Online.
Folden explained the new store locations will range in size from 3,600 square feet to 5,000 square feet. All stores will feature Kum & Go's c-store floor plan, along with eight to 10 multi-pump dispensers, including diesel and E85. Larger locations will feature quick-serve restaurants such as Subway. "It is determined by the amount of space on the lot," Folden told CSNews Online.
This year, Kum & Go has opened seven of the aforementioned locations in Oklahoma, South Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska, and plans to build 27 additional stores before year-end. The additional stores will be sprinkled throughout the core markets in the 12 states in which the company operates.
"Our company is committed to carefully-planned, strategic growth leading in the direction of making Kum & Go the number one convenient retailer," Kyle J. Krause, Kum & Go president and CEO, said in a released statement. "It is our desire to consolidate and strengthen our asset base and offer a consistent brand to our customers in Kum & Go's core markets. The sale of these properties is a step in the right direction for our company."
Last year, the company engaged The Energy Exchange of Chicago to oversee the sale of the first block of stores, an initiative that started in earnest last August. Folden said it was a successful venture. "We used the Energy Exchange for the first time last fall when we auctioned approximately 20 stores," he continued. "From the first store to the last, the process took three months." This time around, and despite a faltering economy, he said the pace could be quicker. "The market [we are selling in] is less clustered and this could be a faster process because there will be more people from different areas ... from a buyers stand point," he told CSNews Online.
Mark Raccuia, executive vice president of The Energy Exchange, said in a released statement: "These stores are located in smaller cities and towns and present ideal opportunities for individual owner-operators as well as first time operators to purchase profitable convenience stores and run their own business."
The company shows no sign of slowing as an aggressive construction schedule is slated for next year. "In 2009, we are looking to do 25 ground-up builds," Folden told CSNews Online. "This initiative is building on our general business philosophy no matter if the store is in North Arkansas or Colorado providing great customer service is a differentiating feature for us."
The deadline for bidding is Tuesday, June 24, 2008. To obtain a list of the available stores, contact The Energy Exchange in Chicago at (866) 906-7499.