Hy-Vee plans to go national
Midwest grocery chain Hy-Vee plans to expand its footprint with a move into four southeastern states.
The chain, which presently has more than 285 locations, will open new stores in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Indiana. Supported by the opening of its third distribution center in Nashville, the grocer expects to have at least 21 new stores in the four states in the next four years, including in Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, Huntsville, Louisville and Indianapolis.
“This is the growth for the next 25 years for Hy-Vee in this territory,” said Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker in a video to employees obtained by the Des Moines Register. “If we can build out 50 stores in this market, we estimate that is $6 billion [in sales]. But overnight we’re going to go from a regional company to a national company.”
The employee-owned chain currently operates in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The move will mark Hy-Vee’s first expansion into a new state since 2009, when it entered Wisconsin.
Aldi, Publix and Wegmans are among major grocers that have been expanding their U.S. footprints over the past few years, despite having ramped up e-grocery as the pandemic imposed challenges to foot traffic. Kroger earlier this year entered Florida with a digital-only push.
According to the Courier Journal, Hy-Vee — with the slogan, “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle”— is Iowa’s largest private employer, standing out for its dine-in and carry-out options, full-service meat department and bakery, fuel discounts and customer service.
Hy-Vee is expected to face strong regionals, national grocers and big box chains that are entrenched in the new markets it is entering.
John Talbott, director of the Indiana University Retail Research, speaking about Hy-Vee’s prospects in Indianapolis, told the IndyStar, “Price is one thing you compete in, but, you know, the biggest players in the market are Walmart and Kroger. These guys are not going to go in and out of the Walmart and Kroger price. That’s just inconceivable,” Talbott said. “They are going to compete on something completely different, which is the perception of quality and customer service.”
- Hy-Vee plans expansion outside Midwest, introducing stores in three southeastern states and Indiana by 2023 – Des Moines Register
- Hy-Vee wants to sell groceries in Indy, but whether shoppers will benefit is debatable – IndyStar
- Midwest grocery chain announces expansion into Louisville – WLKY
- West Des Moines Hy-Vee HealthMarket closing, to be replaced with new wine and spirits concept this fall – Des Moines Register
- Hy-Vee says it’s heading to Louisville: Why shoppers say they love the grocery chain – Courier Journal
- Should Aldi’s growing store count and digital progress keep rivals up at night? – RetailWire
- Wegmans’ N.C. Entry Is Its ‘Fastest and Most Aggressive’ – Winsight Grocery
- Hy-Vee opens fitness-focused grocery store concept – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will Hy-Vee have to do to succeed in the markets it is moving into? Will 2023 be a good time for a regional grocer to launch in a new market?