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Hy-Vee Restructuring Could Result in Reductions

Move to end 24-hour stores part of plan
Photograph: Shutterstock

Hy-Vee could be eliminating some staff as part of a restructuring initiative that appears to resemble similar revamps at competitors such as Walmart and Kroger. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based retailer said its "Helpful Smile 2020" initiative follows the elimination of 24-hour operations at some stores and could include layoffs of some staff, although the company did not provide specific details.

The reduction in store hours precipitated the reorganization of stocking procedures, with the majority of restocking to occur during nonbusiness hours, which Hy-Vee said would create a better shopping environment for customers. “This move also allowed us to reevaluate how we operate our stores so that we can become more efficient. Because of this, store directors will be making staffing changes over the upcoming weeks, which could include promotions, reallocations or reductions, to reflect the needs of their individual store,” Hy-Vee announced in a statement.

The restructuring also will include changes to store management. Some store directors will become district store managers, overseeing several stores and mentoring store managers, while other store directors will become store managers. The store manager position will become a conduit for those who want to become store directors. “The store manager will also have oversight of the day-to-day operations at his/her store. This is part of our effort to remain the best place to build a career in retail and ensure all store directors have the training they need before being selected for the role,” Hy-Vee stated.

Unverified posts at The Layoff.com said 84 store directors at Hy-Vee were either retired or moved into new roles. 

Dietitians also will be restructured, with 30 of the in-store dietitians joining the corporate team to implement health and wellness strategies across the company. Store directors will implement dietetic programs locally.

Kroger's local operating divisions last year eliminated a number of store management positions in a move it said put "the right talent in the right store leadership positions." And this week, a published report said Walmart would implement its Great Workplace initiative in as many as 1,000 stores, including all of its Neighborhood Market stores. That program will reportedly also result in fewer jobs at stores by asking some workers to be more versatile and create a flatter structure. 

These moves would appear to render supermarket workforces more like their efficiency-minded discount counterparts.

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