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04/23/2021

Kum & Go Gets a 'Kick' Out of Latest Merchandise Collaboration

The convenience retailer ensured that its Ampersand1s embody the brand and are legitimate in the sneakerhead community.

DES MOINES — Customers will get a "kick" out of Kum & Go LC's latest merchandise collaboration.

The Des Moines-based convenience store retailer is releasing Ampersand1s, the company's first foray into the shoe game and its latest limited-edition merchandise, reported Des Moines Register.

The sneakers will be available through a limited online presale exclusively, which will be announced within the next few weeks. The shoes' price will also be released at a later date.

The white leather sneakers, made by Philadelphia-based Garrixon, have been a planned collaboration long in the making, according to the report. Garrixon has collaborated on similar high-end sneakers with Campbell Soup Co., Miller High Life and Arizona Beverages.

Ampersand1s are a classic blazer-style shoe, but their design and quality set them apart from something customers could get at an average shoe shop, said Kum & Go Spokesperson Ariel Rubin.

"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."

Ampersand1s are the newest drop in Kum & Go's merch lineup. The convenience retailer collaborated with Budweiser last summer on limited-edition T-shirts and tanks to support Folds of Honor, as Convenience Store News previously reported. Then, earlier this year, Kum & Go partnered with the Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, for limited-edition merchandise.

"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 operates 400 stores across 11 states.