Kum & Go Selected as First Retailer for Mars Wrigley's Innovative Merchandising Incubator

Kum & Go convenience store

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Wrigley selected Kum & Go as its first Innovative Merchandising Incubator retailer.

The Des Moines, Iowa-based convenience store retailer will receive custom solutions to drive sales and improve its merchandising as new products and trends continue create category blurring, resulting in more crossover.

Mars Wrigley announced the Innovative Merchandising Incubator in April, as Convenience Store News reported. Retailers were invited to submit their biggest challenges in the retail space. Submissions were evaluated on specific criteria, including national or strong regional presence; number of stores; and openness to implementing Mars Wrigley's in-store recommendations.

The custom test-and-learn will offer new, insight-driven merchandising solutions rooted in Mars Wrigley's deep research on shopping behavior globally and understanding of the current retail landscape, the company said.

"Many retailers are now looking to evolve their shopping experience, and collaboration is at the heart of what we do at Mars Wrigley. We are committed to working with retailers, national and regional, to understand their business and implement insights and recommendations that propel the category," said Shaf Lalani, vice president of customer experience at Mars Wrigley. "After reviewing each applicant, we knew Kum & Go was the best choice to develop trailblazing solutions because of their fearlessness to test first-of-its-kind recommendations and loyal customer following."

The customized solution will likely be implemented during the second half of the year. At the end of the testing period, Mars Wrigley and Kum & Go will evaluate the solution's success and determine if new or additional recommendations are needed to drive sales next year.

Following the test's completion, Mars Wrigley plans to explore the possibility of continuing the program in 2020 and beyond.

"We are thrilled to be chosen as this year's retailer for the Innovative Merchandising Incubator and begin our new test-and-learn with Mars Wrigley," said Stephanie Poitry, senior category manager of center store at Kum & Go. "We've worked with Mars Wrigley for many years to offer the products our shoppers love. With this opportunity, we'll be able to create a better retail experience and get ahead of the changing marketplace with innovative solutions stemming from this customized test."

Des Moines-based Kum & Go operates nearly 400 stores in 11 states.