DES MOINES—Soon, guests can walk into a Kum & Go on feet shod with the chain’s branded shoes, the Des Moines Register reports. The convenience retailer announced its Ampersand1s will be available during a limited online presale only. This is the company’s first branded shoe—but not its first venture into clothing.
Made by Garrixon—which also worked with Campbell Soup Company, Miller High Life and Arizona Beverages on similar shoes—the collaboration has been in the works since last year, but the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on the project until now. Both the price and timing of the presale will be released soon, allowing the company to build buzz about the newest edition to its branded merchandise, according to Ariel Rubin, Kum & Go spokesperson.
“The key for us is we wanted to make a sneaker that had credibility in the sneakerhead community,” Rubin said. “We didn't want to make something that was a 'one-time offer' that's just funny and cheap. It's important that it was, one, a sneaker that embodied our brand and, two, felt authentic and real, that was legit in the sneakerhead community.”
The classic blazer-style sneakers join other Kum & Go merchandise, including partnerships with the Trevor Project and Budweiser on limited-edition shirts and fanny packs. “I personally can tell you, I'm really inspired by a lot of the merchandise collaborations other great brands have done with sneakers,” Rubin said. “This is sort of a long-standing dream to produce a shoe at Kum & Go, so I'm really excited to see it come to life.”
Kum & Go isn’t the only convenience retailer with branded merchandising in the fashion industry. 7-Eleven Sweden recently unveiled its pajama line, while in August, 7-Eleven teamed up with Forever21 on a clothing line. Late last year, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip introduced limited edition themed men’s boxers and women’s briefs. In the fall of 2020, Dunkin’ launched a line of holiday-themed clothing.
Read more about how Kum & Go is a trendsetter in the digital age in “Marketing in an Era of Meaningful Media” in the October 2020 issue of NACS Magazine.
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