Tour Hy-Vee's new Janesville store, with its 'totally reimagined' design

The employee-owned, Iowa-based grocer is expanding far beyond those state lines, with new locations in Wisconsin, Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky. Hy-Vee brings with it a "little bit different" go-to-market strategy, its CEO said.
Hy-Vee opens two new grocery stores in Wisconsin
Hy-Vee will open its new Janesville, Wisconsin location on Tuesday. / Photo courtesy: Diane Adam

Hy-Vee shoppers in Wisconsin will have two more locations to shop from as the grocery retailer opens its newest stores in Janesville and Oregon on Tuesday.

Inside the Janesville location, shoppers familiar with the Iowa-based chain will find a “totally reimagined” store that features a welcoming signature fireplace as shoppers enter. A large seating area inside is a centerpiece to the store’s expansive food hall, which includes Mia Italian, HyChi and Hibachi, Nori Sushi, Market Grille, Long Island Deli and Wahlburgers.

With expansion continuing beyond its home state of Iowa, CEO Jeremy Gosch told WGB Friday during a tour of the Janseville store that he credits Hy-Vee's unique strategy for its growth. “We always feel like we’re different,” Gosch said. “We just go to market a little bit different. We go into communities that make sense for us, and Wisconsin has been a very good state for us.”

Hy-Vee is a regional grocer “but as you see us extending to Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, obviously our footprint becomes much bigger at that point,” Gosch said. “You’ll see us get going over there this spring. We will be ready to go.”

The grocer’s newest store at 2500 Humes Road in Janesville, Wisconsin, is over 97,000-square-feet and is the retailer’s sixth "state-of-the-art" grocery store in its eight-state footprint.

Despite a difficult labor market, Gosch said staffing hasn't been a challenge, and that it will have 631 employees, including 146 full-time workers. “We have had really good luck,” he said, crediting Hy-Vee’s variety of benefits, career opportunities and status as an employee-owned company for its recruitment success, all of which help make “us a good option for people.”

The Janesville location includes all-digital shelf labels, which Gosch told WGB is “a big play for us” when it comes to displaying real-time product information and pricing. Hy-Vee products, promotions and services are featured on the more than 50 TVs peppered throughout the store. 

When it comes to checkout options, the Janesville location has traditional check-out lanes as well as a new mobile payment technology with Hy-Vee Scan & Go and self-checkouts.

Of the 120,000 items featured in the store, more than 6,000 are specialty items and more than 3,500 are fresh produce offerings. Hy-Vee said it has invested more than $27 million to build, furnish and stock the grocery store.

An in-store Starbucks, floral, pharmacy and gift shop are just a few of the departments included in the Janesville location, along with a Joe Fresh clothing department, a Pair Eyewear kiosk, DSW footwear, a beauty department, candy shop, and a wine and spirits department. There is also Hy-Vee’s signature Cake This! bakery with artisan and specialty breads, patisserie, cakes and a cake decorator station.

The West Des Moines, Iowa-based supermarket chain’s Oregon, Wisconsin, location will also open on Tuesday at 787 North Main Street. The store, which was previously a Bill’s Food Center, will feature grocery essentials as well as Hy-Vee’s mealtime to-go offerings, natural, organic and gluten-free items, and a wine and spirits department.

Hy-Vee now operates more than 285 grocery stores across eight Midwestern states and employs more than 80,000 people.



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