- Hy-Vee Inc. said it has plans to build a small market and gas station west of Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, according to the Des Moines Register. The building would also serve as a quick-serve restaurant and a drive-up lane for customers ordering groceries online.
- A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the store will be somewhere between 12,000 and 16,000 square feet and will include both fuel pumps and groceries.
- The company recently opened a fulfillment center in Urbandale, IA for Hy-Vee Aisles Online, its online grocery ordering program.
Hy-Vee is taking a page from Amazon’s new click-and-collect locations based in Seattle with its Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh concept, a pickup-centered store model. The company is in the planning stages of putting the hybrid store in a 65-acre retail and office development.
This move shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, though. Hy-Vee officials have talked about a new concept to serve the click-and-collect market for more than a year. The retailer has also been a leader in online grocery shopping, first offering the concept in 1998. It makes sense it should be one of the first to invest in a center that caters to this group of shoppers.
The store's online ordering has changed a lot in the last 20 years, and its current Aisles Online program has grown substantially for the company over the last year. In 2015, the retailer reported about 1,300 online shopping orders per week in its Des Moines-area stores, some of which had drive thru windows back then.
Hy-Vee is moving more toward improving the online shopping experience as well. The company recently announced restructuring of corporate departments to focus on growth in its dedicated health and wellness sections, restaurant operations and information technology. The IT group will create more apps and store programs, which likely means more of the lists, special offers and other personalization features that are bringing stores into the digital age.
Hy-Vee has shown it is not afraid to try radically different formats. This new store isn't necessarily an oddity, but, considering that the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen have said online grocery shopping is expected to become a $100 billion industry by 2025, it may be what more and more new store locations will look like in the near future.