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Student Story: Innovation is Key for Hy-Vee

Consumer Science 250: Retail Leadership Symposium

The Best in the Midwest?
On Wednesday September 27th, 2017 the Retail Leadership Symposium class was given the privilege of sharing an hour and a half with representatives from the Midwest grocer, Hy-Vee. Jamie Franck (District Vice President), Jan Nichols (Verona Rd Store Director), Matt May (Whitney Way Store Director), and Jim Banasik (East Washington Ave Store Director) brought a brilliant overview of the uniqueness that is Hy-Vee while pushing a theme that perfectly describes Hy-Vee, past, present, and future. Change.

Hy-Vee was founded in Beaconsfield, Iowa in 1930 by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg. Today, the company is #111 on Forbes “America’s Best Employers” list and #27 on Forbes “America’s Largest Private Companies” list. Bringing in a revenue of over 9.63 Billion dollars for 2016, with 247+ stores, and roughly 85,000 employees, Hy-Vee has come a long way from a small Midwest general store. Jamie Franck pressed the speed with which Hy-Vee changes. The company recently focused in on the changing retail landscape and how fast it was changing for grocers; they knew that if they didn’t join the race to be the most innovative, inclusionary, and dynamic grocery store, they would face extinction.

Hy-Vee's Fast & Fresh Store Concept
Hy-Vee’s Fast & Fresh Store Concept

Whether it’s acquiring new brands or changing the way we think about grocery, blink once and you’re likely to miss whatever is new, original, and exciting at Hy-Vee. Here are a few examples of the change and innovation:

  • Remote Pharmacy
  • Health Market
  • Orange Theory
  • Pop Up Stores
  • Fast & Fresh
  • International Food Courts
  • Commissary Partnerships
  • Central Commissary
  • Hy-Vee Mealtime
  • Baby Evolution
  • Pet Evolution
  • Helpful Smiles Technology Center
  • Wahlburgers National Sponsorship
  • Online Shopping

Hy-Vee Giving Back
It should come as no surprise that Hy-Vee has made giving back one of their main goals since the start. What started as charitable donations during the Great Depression, has evolved into a mission of community citizenship. Boxes of groceries and tins of kerosene, have turned into financial contributions to hundreds of causes, community volunteering, and leadership roles in nonprofit organizations.

In 1983 Hy-Vee participated in a programed called, Cash for Kids, which was sponsored by an international non-profit called Variety, whose mission is to improve the lives of children in need. Since 1983 Hy-Vee has helped Variety raise over $14 million for children in Iowa alone. Since 1998 Hy-Vee has done work to help the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, raising $17 million dollars in search of a cure; a cause close to the heart of the company, as co-founder Charles Hyde’s son passed away at the age of eight from the disease. Hy-Vee also supports the Red Cross and has created its own initiative called Hy-Vee Homefront, a program that strives to serve the needs of those who serve us: veterans and their families. It’s apparent that Hy-Vee has expanded helping beyond the store aisle to fully embody their mission of serving the community in any capacity that they can.

Connect with Hy-Vee Today!
Feel free to check out the Hy-Vee website and start ordering your food straight to where you live, or find a location you want to check out! https://www.hy-vee.com/

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