Will Hy-Vee’s new c-store concept redefine convenience in the Twin Cities?

Discussion
Hy-Vee, Marshalltown, Iowa - Photo: Wikipedia
Jul 26, 2017
George Anderson

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.

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?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Sounds a lot like Walmart Neighborhood Market with gas pumps. And that’s not a bad thing. "
"This larger format c-store concept may very well reshape perceptions and expectations around what a c-store offers..."
"Hy-Vee is in a great position as it moves towards a more consumer-focused business model."

Join the Discussion!

5 Comments on "Will Hy-Vee’s new c-store concept redefine convenience in the Twin Cities?"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Chris Petersen, PhD.
BrainTrust

Sounds a lot like Walmart Neighborhood Market with gas pumps. And that’s not a bad thing.

Consumer shopping habits are changing rapidly, as well as their expectations. All retail chains must adapt formats to remain competitive. The Hy-Vee concept could be a solution for time-strapped customers needing a few items, as well as a drive-up collection point for click and collect for major Hy-Vee online purchases.

However no retailer should build new stores without also thinking mobile and digital integration. The convenience store purchase of the future will be part of a seamless chain of experiences.

Brandon Boston
Guest

Consumers are ready. I believe the concept will take on a large bodega feel. Fresher food options supplied by the larger store for breakfast and lunch with more traditional product offerings for the lower-income shopper. The challenge traditional convenience stores have is breaking the stigma and proving that prepared food can actually be good tasting and good to eat. In addition, brands can’t alienate their core shopper by over-pricing or over-branding. I think Hy-Vee’s equity in the supermarket category will help them with this transition.

David Livingston
Guest
2 years 3 months ago
Consumers are certainly ready in Minneapolis. For years grocers like Cub and Target counted on hometown loyalty to shop their below-par formats. They were and still are asleep at the wheel. C-stores like Holiday and Speedway are still stuck in the 1980s. Hy-Vee is basically copying all the good ideas of other successful c-stores. Kwik Trip has carved out a solid niche too with deeply discounted dairy and produce along with almost daily $1 off gas purchases. Yes, I am one of these jerks that stops in every day for $1 of free gas so I hardly ever have to actually pay for fuel having a hybrid. I found one in Scottsdale a few months ago with an upscale deli, coffee shop, full detail car wash and 100 octane fuel. The modern c-store will need to have something signature to set it apart. Kwik Trip is free gas, 49 cent eggs and 38 cents per-pound bananas, onions and potatoes. Another will have 100 octane gas or E85 fuel. Starbucks-style drinks for a dollar. Still I… Read more »
Jeff Hall
BrainTrust

Hy-Vee is at the forefront of actively innovating in the grocery, wellness, c-store and prepared foods space. This larger format c-store concept may very well reshape perceptions and expectations around what a c-store offers, while better meeting the needs of consumers seeking fueling, grocery and dining options in one stop.

The company has also launched a new “health market” concept, with its first store in greater Des Moines, complete with a health food store, pharmacy, clinic and fitness studio — and, yes, groceries as well.

Creative retail concepts such as these, meeting customer needs while delivering rich experiential environments, are exactly what is needed to stave off brick-and-mortar as well as online competition.

Cristian Grossmann
Guest

Hy-Vee is in a great position as it moves towards a more consumer-focused business model. With their already strong presence, especially in the Midwest, this format and extension of the brand’s product line is crucial to continue serving their current markets, as well as expand into large opportunities. I believe consumers are not only ready for this new kind of convenience, they are grasping for it. Hy-Vee with their grocery-first concept should be able to show that high-quality food and convenience is not only possible, but the wave of the future. Bringing everyday staples together will be how Hy-Vee and many other retailers nurture their current consumers, as well as foster their future customers.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Sounds a lot like Walmart Neighborhood Market with gas pumps. And that’s not a bad thing. "
"This larger format c-store concept may very well reshape perceptions and expectations around what a c-store offers..."
"Hy-Vee is in a great position as it moves towards a more consumer-focused business model."

Take Our Instant Poll

How likely is Hy-Vee to achieve success with its new “super-sized” convenience store format?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...