Cody’s Goes To Kum & Go

Cody’s Convenience Stores at a Glance

Headquarters: Springfield, Mo.
Store Count: 37
Fuel Brand: Phillips 66
Missouri Markets: Battlefield, Bolivar, Clever, Fair Grove, Hollister, Joplin, Monett, Neosho, Nixa, Republic, Rogersville, Springfield, Waynesville and Webb City.
Distinctions: The Cody’s Gift Card, live bait, financial services, full-service delis and various leading foodservice concepts.

It took the right company at the right time. That’s about the sum of it for Curtis Jared, president and CEO of Cody’s Convenience Stores in southwest Missouri, who said last month he’s selling his 37-store chain along with eight car washes to West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LLC.

As vice president of CRW Properties, Jared is well versed in real estate. The deal with Kum & Go, he said, will allow him to divert his attention to his real estate business.

Certainly worth noting in this turbulent economy, Jared said the sale to Kum & Go was not triggered by an economic environment that most retailers are finding challenging.

Rather, Jared began considering selling the chain last summer when another retail brand offered to buy the stores. That offer prompted Jared to begin shopping the stores to see what offers he might get, which led him to Kum & Go, a brand that was already operating 34 stores in southwest Missouri.

“We talked to Kum & Go and thought there were some better synergies there,” Jared said. “We had a good offer and took advantage of it. Kum & Go is a strong company—we felt comfortable going with them. They take care of their employees.”

Brand Strength
By all accounts, the Cody’s chain has been a profitable brand experiencing phenomenal growth over the past few years. In 2002, Jared purchased what was then the only Cody’s store in southwest Missouri, and through his position at CRW Properties he grew it into a formidable chain in just seven years.

Organic growth and acquisitions contributed to much of the success, including the 2007 purchase of six bankrupt Express Lane stores and the 2008 purchase of nine Snak Atak stores in Joplin, Mo.

The Springfield Business Journal reported Cody’s had revenues of $91.9 million in 2007, up from $30.6 million in 2006. In fact, the company boasted a 723% growth rate since 2005.

Details of Kum & Go’s purchase of the Cody’s brand haven’t been released, though Jared said the deal allows his real estate company to retain the 37 properties while Kum & Go rebrands them as Kum & Go stores.

Notably, Jared said most employees at Cody’s c-stores will be offered positions at the newly branded Kum & Go stores.  The deal will make Kum & Go the largest convenience store operator in southwest Missouri.

“Southwest Missouri is a great place to expand and bring the latest store conveniences Kum & GO has to offer,” said Kum & Go President and CEO Kyle Krause. “We look forward to building upon the excellent relationship the Jared family has developed with Springfield, Joplin and surrounding communities.”


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