News broke on February 15 that the Krause family was looking for a buyer for its Kum & Go convenience stores—an opportunity that caught the attention of Chuck Maggelet, Maverik’s CEO and Chief Adventure Guide and the NACS chairman of research and technology.
A little more than six months later, Maverik completed the acquisition of Kum & Go. Maggelet talked with the NACS editorial team about the process that led to merging two renowned brands into the 12th largest convenience store in the United States.
“By spending time at NACS events, I got to know Tanner Krause and contacted him to say we [Maverik] were interested,” Maggelet said, noting that the acquisition of Kum & Go made sense. “Their design standards were similar to ours, their stores on average were three years younger than ours and the quality of the stores was attractive,” he told the NACS Daily editorial team.
As two convenience store chains with 400 stores each, and an operating area that will reach 20 states, Maggelet emphasized the most important asset of both companies: their people.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations with their Team Members and our Team Members and a lot of meet and greets and other communications and planning sessions together. It’s fun to see how similar our cultures seem to line up,” Maggelet said.
“Kum & Go has really terrific people,” he continued. “They think about things similarly in some areas and differently in others. It’s taking the best of what we do that we can share with Kum & Go and taking the best of what they do and sharing it with Maverik to build the results, the experience and the value proposition for our customers in fun, interesting and powerful ways that we would not have been able to consider without different perspectives, skills and capabilities.”
Both convenience stores have strong brand identities: Maverik with its adventure and great outdoors theme and Kum & Go with its bright red logo and iconic ampersand. With the acquisition complete, the question is how to combine the two.
“We’re still figuring that out,” said Maggelet, noting that about a third of the Kum & Go stores are in areas where Maverik already has a strong presence. “In Utah, Colorado and Idaho, with select test sites in Wyoming, starting this January we’ll be working to convert those stores to Maveriks,” he said. For the remaining two-thirds of the Kum & Go stores, “Right now, we think we can bring a lot of what’s really good about Maverik into the Kum & Go world without necessarily rebranding and will continue to evaluate future changes,” he said.
Coinciding with the branding conversions will be technology, supply chain and payment systems changes. “We’re really enthusiastic about the strength of our technology stack—our lead hitter is our own point-of-sale system. We’re very fortunate as a 400-unit chain to have our own POS,” he said.
Now that the acquisition is complete, Maggelet shared one key learning that stands out: the scope of the deal.
“We’ve probably purchased fewer than 10 stores at Maverik since I’ve been in this role the last seven years. Buying 400 stores is way different and it’s taken a lot of work in both of our organizations to enable the planning, the future integration efforts and to make sure we continue to do what we need to do every day for our customers.”
The next five years will be fun to watch as two companies with amazing teams, strong brands and excellent operational and cultural elements become one. We’d be remiss if we didn’t get Maggelet’s take on what he envisions.
“We’re looking to find the best cultural elements of both, but I’ll be honest, I love Maverik’s Purpose: to Have Fun Together Building the Coolest Convenience Experience on the Planet. I think that’s going to be core to what we do. We also have our Titanium Rule, to Treat Others Better Than They Expect to Be Treated. What’s really fun is that we see a lot of that messaging and aspirations from the Kum & Go side, which is about Better for Communities, Better for Customers, Better for Team Members. There are a lot of opportunities to build in both of our geographies,” he said.
Other opportunities will come from innovating “things we haven’t even thought about yet,” Maggelet said, and relying “heavily and handily on the ideas of great people who are focused on working together, making our stores the Coolest Convenience Experience on the Planet.”