Hy-Vee has entered into two strategic partnerships that company officials say will diversify its business model while reinforcing its mission of making customers’ lives easier, healthier and happier.
The organization plans to build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers restaurants – nearly doubling the brand’s current locations. Hy-Vee will add select Wahlburgers menu items in all Market Grille restaurants. In addition, Hy-Vee will partner with Orangetheory Fitness to provide customers with convenient access to an intensive group fitness program in or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores.
“These unprecedented collaborations reinforce our company’s longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer experience,” says Hy-Vee chairman, CEO and president Randy Edeker. “However, they also represent a bold step to deliberately evolve our business to meet the change in our customers’ lifestyles and spending habits. These partnerships keep us on the leading edge as the retail grocery industry evolves.”
Edeker says the partnerships come at a time of major changes in the landscape of the retail industry.
“Hy-Vee has a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to look for new ways to strengthen our company,” he affirms. “With this type of progressive action, Hy-Vee is well positioned for future growth.”
Wahlburgers is a family-friendly restaurant that offers a unique dining experience featuring signature burgers and drinks in a casual environment. Currently, Wahlburgers operates 17 locations in nine states and Canada. Hy-Vee will build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers in seven Midwestern states, becoming the brand’s largest single franchise. In addition, all 84 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants will offer Wahlburgers-branded menu items.
The first Hy-Vee-owned Wahlburgers will be located in West Des Moines, Iowa, and will open in mid-2018.
“Hy-Vee has been a great partner for us with our Performance Inspired Nutrition line. Their commitment to quality and innovation shows in everything they do,” says Mark Wahlberg, actor, producer and co-founder of Wahlburgers. “I can't think of a better fit for Wahlburgers to introduce our family's hospitality to the Midwest.”
Orangetheory Fitness is a fitness program offering an intensive group training workout. With 750 studios open nationwide, the company is on track to open 1,500 in the next two years. Hy-Vee will partner with Orangetheory to offer customers a fitness experience in or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores. In addition, Hy-Vee dietitians will work with Orangetheory members to offer dietetic services, provide samples of nutritional products and lead store tours to showcase items that align with member needs. This partnership creates an integrated fitness component to bolster Hy-Vee’s focus on health and wellness – including in-store dietitians, HealthMarkets, chefs, fresh and organic produce and pharmacies.
The first Hy-Vee Orangetheory Fitness location will open in 2017 in the Twin Cities.
“At Hy-Vee, we are committed to meeting our customers where they are – whether that is in a retail grocery environment, restaurant or online through our Aisles Online program,” says Hy-Vee’s EVP of strategy and chief merchandising officer Jeremy Gosch. “These partnerships are just another example of Hy-Vee listening to the needs of our customers.”