Will Hy-Vee’s new c-store concept redefine convenience in the Twin Cities?
Just over a year ago, Hy-Vee confirmed that it was scouting sites to open what a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal headline called a new convenience store “on steroids” concept. Now, the Pioneer Press reports the employee-owned chain has received the green light to begin construction on its first “super-sized convenience store” in Lakeville, MN.
When completed, the location will be outfitted with gas pumps and an 8,800-square-foot store that will include a smaller version of the produce sections found in Hy-Vee’s supermarkets. Prepared foods, dairy and meat departments, a Starbucks and a Market Grill restaurant will be found as well. Members of Hy-Vee’s rewards program will be able to use points for discounts on gas.
Hy-Vee’s goal is to create a go-to place for time-strapped consumers. When built, the store will be significantly larger than other convenience stores operated by the company, which typically top out around 5,000-square-feet. The Lakeville store, however, will be smaller than the 10,000- to 15,000-square-feet that was originally reported as the footprint range for Hy-Vee’s new concept, which has been described as a cross between its supermarkets and conventional convenience stores.
Hy-Vee spokesperson Tara Deering-Hansen told the Pioneer Press that the company is looking for other sites where it could open stores in the new format. The store planned for Lakeville is within three miles of a Hy-Vee supermarket measuring over 90,000-square-feet. Hy-Vee operates 142 convenience stores across eight states with 16 located in Minnesota. Many of the company’s convenience stores are either adjacent to one of Hy-Vee’s supermarkets or nearby.
The company is moving into a market that has strong convenience store competitors including Holiday Stationstores, Kwik Trip and Super America.
- Hy-Vee to roll out super-sized convenience store in Lakeville – St. Paul Pioneer Press
- Hy-Vee’s scouting Twin Cities sites for convenience stores ‘on steroids’ – Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are consumers ready for a new kind of convenience store? If so, what do you think that would look like? Is Hy-Vee on the right track with its new concept?