Hy-Vee // is a chain of supermarkets in the Midwestern United States, with more than 265 locations in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Hy-Vee was founded in 1930 by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in a small brick building known as the Beaconsfield Supply Store, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
|Founded||Beaconsfield, Iowa (1930 )|
|Headquarters||5820 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa|
Number of locations
|Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin|
|Randy Edeker (President, CEO, & Chairman)|
|Products||bakery, catering, sushi, asian foods, hibachi, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gas, general grocery, meat and seafood, pharmacy, HealthMarket, Health Clinics, Market Grille, Market Grille Express, wine & spirits, general merchandise, lawn & garden, floristry, Fast & Fresh, fuel/convenience stores, car wash|
|Revenue||$10.0 Billion (2018)|
Number of employees
The largest Hy-Vee stores are full-service supermarkets with bakeries, delicatessens, floral departments, dine-in and carryout food service, wine and spirits, pharmacies, health clinics, HealthMarkets (natural and organic products) and coffee kiosks (Caribou Coffee and Starbucks). The company maintains fuel stations with convenience stores, fitness centers, and full-service restaurants at some of its properties. Hy-Vee's largest store opened March 10, 2015, in Bloomington, Illinois, with 108,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of retail space.
Hy-Vee's longtime advertising slogan, "Where there's a helpful smile in every aisle," was adopted for the chain's first television commercial in 1963. The slogan became a jingle in the 1990s with music by Annie Meacham and James Poulsen.
Early years and General Supply Company
In 1921, Charles Hyde started working for the General Supply Company's store in Woodbine, Iowa, which was operated by Vredenburg & Lewis. In 1922, the General Supply Company was formally incorporated. Vredenburg was president and Hyde a member of the board of directors. In 1924, Hyde left the General Supply Company and started his own store in Cameron, Missouri.
In 1927, Hyde purchased a half stake of a store in Kellerton, Iowa, the other half being owned by the General Supply Company. In 1930, Vredenburg and Hyde started a separate partnership from the General Supply Company, named Supply Stores, and opened their first store in Beaconsfield, Iowa.
In 1932, The General Supply Company was dissolved because of effects of the Great Depression. Vredenburg purchased most of the former General Supply Company's remaining stores and mill. Both Hyde and Vredenburg owned and operated other stores outside of their partnership. Hyde and Vredenburg's partnership was dissolved for approximately six months in 1935 after Iowa enacted the Chain Tax Act of 1935, a heavy tax against chain stores that was later declared unconstitutional.
In 1938, Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc. was officially incorporated, with 15 stores in Iowa and Missouri. The incorporation consolidated all of Hyde's and Vredenburg's independently owned stores with the stores they had in their partnership. The company was headquartered in Lamoni. The new company's management plan involved autonomy for store managers, setting the stage for its eventual employee ownership.
In 1945, Hyde & Vredenburg moved its corporate headquarters from Lamoni to Chariton, Iowa, after acquiring the Chariton Wholesale Company.
The Supply Store name, with each town's name preceding it, was still used on most stores until 1952. A few stores were named differently, with names such as Hyde's Service Store, Vredenburg's Grocery, and Hyde & Vredenburg, all of which were changed in 1952.
1950s and 1960s
The Hy-Vee name, a contraction of Hyde and Vredenburg, was adopted in 1952 as the winning entry of an employee contest, with three employees submitting the name. The first store with the name opened in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1953. In 1956, Hy-Vee introduced its first private label products, along with a new logo. In 1957, Hy-Vee opened its first in-store bakery at the Iowa City, Iowa, store.
In 1960, the company became employee-owned by the Employees’ Trust Fund. The slogan "Where There's a Helpful Smile in every Aisle" was first used in a TV commercial in 1963. The company's name was officially changed to Hy-Vee Food Stores, Inc., in 1963.
In 1969, Hy-Vee expanded into Minnesota, after acquiring the Swanson Stores chain based in Cherokee, Iowa. In 1969, Hy-Vee opened its first Drug Town, a pharmacy separate from a regular store, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Hy-Vee had 66 stores at the end of 1969.
1970s, '80s, and '90s
Hy-Vee continued expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, opening stores in South Dakota (1975), Nebraska (1977), Illinois (1979), and Kansas (1988). In 1975, Hy-Vee's 100th store, which was also its first to use electronic cash registers, opened in Keokuk, Iowa. By the end of 1989 Hy-Vee had 172 stores in seven states. In 1994, Hy-Vee updated its logo to the one used today.
In 1995 Hy-Vee moved its corporate headquarters from Chariton to West Des Moines, Iowa, while shortening its name to Hy-Vee, Inc. The company's primary distribution center is still in Chariton; a second one is in Cherokee, Iowa.
At the turn of the century, Hy-Vee increased its focus on customers' healthy lifestyles. HealthMarket private-label products were introduced in 2001. The company also began its initiative to provide customers with the services of corporate and in-store dietitians.
Stores began offering an expanded line of ethnic foods to the Midwest's increasingly diverse population. Online shopping capabilities expanded in 2005, with a redesigned Hy-Vee website offering online shopping for such items as holiday meals, floral arrangements and catering selections; gift cards were added in 2006.
Hy-Vee was selected as Progressive Grocer's Retailer of the Year in 2003. Drug Town stores were renamed Hy-Vee Drugstores in 2005. Hy-Vee celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005 with the publication of a second company history book (The History of Hy-Vee). In 2007, Hy-Vee's first store, in Beaconsfield, Iowa, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In fiscal year 2009, Hy-Vee had sales exceeding $6.3 billion; at the time, it was the second-largest employee-owned company in the United States and ranked by Forbes magazine the 48th-largest privately owned company in the country. More than 55,000 employees worked in the Hy-Vee family in 2009.
By the end of 2009, there were 228 stores. In 2009, Hy-Vee moved into its eighth state of operations when the store in Madison, Wisconsin opened. Hy-Vee's fourth president, Randy Edeker, was selected to lead the company in December 2009. Ric Jurgens retained the titles of chairman and chief executive officer until 2012, when Edeker assumed those roles.
In 2012, Hy-Vee introduced its loyalty program, Hy-Vee Fuel Saver, which allows customers to earn discounts on fuel at Casey's General Stores; Shell; PDQ/Kwik Trip, as well as Hy-Vee's own gas stations, by purchasing select items. In 2015 the program's name was changed to Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks.
In September 2015, Hy-Vee opened its first stores in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.
In 2016, Hy-Vee began opening clothing boutiques featuring Tesco's F&F brand in select larger locations.
In 2017, Hy-Vee became the exclusive retailer in its service area for sports nutrition products marketed by Mark Wahlberg. This expanded into a deal making Hy-Vee a franchisee for Wahlburgers restaurants; the first location under the deal opened in May 2018 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Hy-Vee plans to operate 26 Wahlburgers locations, making it the largest franchisee of Wahlburgers. Hy-Vee's own restaurant, Market Grille, added Wahlburgers items to its menu.
Hy-Vee opened its first standalone HealthMarket store in 2018. Much like the in-store health department, also named HealthMarket, the standalone store focuses on health and wellness. The store is a smaller format than regular Hy-Vee stores and contains a pharmacy and attached Orangetheory Fitness.
In 2018, the first-ever Hy-Vee Dollar Fresh store opened up in Osceola, Iowa. This concept offer customers in smaller communities a fresh, new product selection at low prices. Customers will find a full selection of grocery items, a bakery section with a full range of fresh-baked items, a dollar section, a Wall of Value, ready-to-eat meal offerings and other services.
In 2018, the first-ever Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh convenience store opened up in Davenport, Iowa. This concept offers many standard grocery items for the pantry and freezer, plus fresh produce, dairy, meat and bakery departments. There's also a gas station, Hy-Vee Aisles Online pickup, wood-oven pizza, Nori sushi, a craft beer station, wine and spirits section, made-to-order meals for carryout or dining in, take-and-heat meal options, Hy-Vee Mealtime Kits, a Starbucks with a drive-thru and much more are also featured. The Hy-Vee & Fresh store is not 24/7 like Hy-Vee as it closes at the end of the night and reopens in the morning.
In 2019, Hy-Vee announced it would start opening Joe Fresh clothing sections in stores, and replace its previous F&F clothing departments.
On January 27, 2020, Hy-Vee agreed to acquire six former Shopko locations in Iowa that will re-open under the Dollar Fresh brand by late summer.
On February 10, 2020, Hy-Vee grocery stores ended their 24-hour service at most locations. Most of the 24-hour stores are closed between midnight and 5 a.m., though hours vary by location. The stores still have stock crews working overnight, but the stores are not open to the public.
On February 19, 2020, Hy-Vee acquired four QuikTrip convenience store locations in the Des Moines metro that re-opened under the Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh Express brand on March 20, 2020.
Information and statistics
Hy-Vee is known to move departments into separate buildings for legal requirements, or for optimal customer service. This is commonly seen in the construction of a separate building for Hy-Vee Gas, usually near a main store. It is also common for Hy-Vee to have attached liquor stores, as in Minnesota, where grocery stores are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages over 3.2% alcohol by weight. In some cases, there is a completely separate building for the liquor department, such as the Prairie Village, Kansas store, where the liquor store is across the street (State Line Road) in Kansas City, Missouri and thus operates under Missouri's more liberal alcohol laws.
Hy-Vee ranked second on the National Center for Employee Ownership's list of Largest Employee Owned Companies in 2011. Hy-Vee ranked 27th on Forbes magazine's annual list of the largest privately owned companies in the United States in 2017. Hy-Vee ranked 27th on "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" by Supermarket News in 2016. Hy-Vee ranked 4th on America's Favorite Grocery Retailers by Market Force Information in 2016.
Hy-Vee won numerous awards in 2017, including recognition by Forbes as one of America's Best Employers. Forbes also named Hy-Vee as one of the top 50 private companies in the United States. Hy-Vee ranked as the sixth favorite Grocery Retailer in America by Market Force in 2017. Progressive Grocer selected Hy-Vee as its Retailer of the Year in 2017, while Mass Market Retailers appointed Hy-Vee as the 2017 Retail Innovator of the Year.
Presidents and CEOs
Dwight Vredenburg, son of founder David Vredenburg, became Hy-Vee's first president at 23 years old. He served as president for 45 years.
- President: 1938–1983
- CEO: 1978–1989
- Chairman of the Board: 1978–1989
Ron Pearson, Hy-Vee's second CEO. During his time, Hy-Vee expanded its services to include gas stations, dry cleaning, takeout meals, and added online shopping.
- President: 1983–2001
- CEO: 1989–2003
- Chairman of the Board: 1989–2006
Ric Jurgens, Hy-Vee's third CEO. Hy-Vee focused on healthy living during this time, adding pharmacies, clinics, dietitians, and health food sections to stores.
- President: 2001–2009
- CEO: 2003–2012
- Chairman of the Board: 2006–2012
Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee's fourth CEO. Since 2012, Hy-Vee has renovated many of their stores, introduced the Hy-Vee Fuel Saver program, and emphasized expanding online shopping.
- President: 2009–present
- CEO: 2012–present
- Chairman of the Board: 2012–present
On May 17, 2018, the Kansas City Star reported that Hy-Vee purchased the naming rights to the iconic Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. The renovated Hy-Vee Arena is slated to be an Adult and Youth sports facility.
Hy-Vee serves as title or presenting sponsor for multiple major sporting events:
- the Iowa–Nebraska football rivalry is officially branded as the Hy-Vee Heroes Game (2011–present)
- Hy-Vee Classic, an annual doubleheader in Des Moines, Iowa, involving Iowa's four Division I men's basketball teams - Iowa, Iowa State, Drake and Northern Iowa (2018)
- Drake Relays, athletics event held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa (2013–2019)
Hy-Vee previously served as title or presenting sponsor for multiple now-defunct sporting events:
- Hy-Vee Classic, a Women's Senior Tour event (2000–2006)
- Hy-Vee Triathlon, an Olympic-distance triathlon (2007–2014)
Hy-Vee serves as a sponsor for multiple cultural events in the Des Moines area:
In July 2015, Hy-Vee was named the official grocery, pharmacy, and floral partner of the NHL's Minnesota Wild.
Hy-Vee also serves as a sponsor for 38 colleges and universities over its eight-state region.
- Midwest Heritage Bank, FSB, with branch locations and offices in Iowa
- Purchased the National Bank & Trust Company of Chariton in 1963. The name was changed to Midwest Heritage Bank in 1995.
- Ranked the 59th most healthy bank in the U.S. in 2016 by DepositAccounts.com
- Midwest Heritage Bank is one of the only non-Industrial Loan Company banks in the U.S. to be owned by a retailer. It is an OCC Regulated Federal Savings Association (SA), also known as a Federal Savings Bank.
- Lomar Distributing, Inc., a specialty food distributor based in Des Moines
- Acquired in 1990
- Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd., a distributor of meat, seafood, cheese and dairy items based in Ankeny, Iowa
- Became an affiliate in 1982 and a subsidiary of Hy-Vee in 1990
- D & D Foods, Inc., a supplier of freshly prepared salads, dips, meat and entree items based in Omaha, Nebraska
- Originally named D & D Salads, Inc., this subsidiary was purchased in 1992
- Florist Distributing, Inc., a distributor of flowers and plants based in Des Moines, Iowa
- Became a subsidiary in 1992
- Hy-Vee Construction, L.C., a construction company based in Des Moines
- Partially purchased Weitz Construction in 1995 and named Hy-Vee/Weitz Construction L.C. Purchased the remaining share of the company in 2013, officially forming a subsidiary.
- Amber Pharmacy
- Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions and Amber Pharmacy began a partnership in 2009. Amber Pharmacy was fully purchased in 2014.
- Beverage Distributors of Iowa
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