Will shoppers get their nails done at Hy-Vee?

Discussion
Photo: The W Nail Bar
Mar 10, 2021

Hy-Vee has announced a partnership with The W Nail Bar to open several nail salons in select stores by the end of 2021.

The salons will offer a variety of services, including manicures, pedicures, nail art, waxing and tinting. Manicures are available starting at $35; pedicures start at $55. Monthly memberships are also available.

Enhanced sanitation protocols as well as contactless payment, Plexiglas barriers and capacity limitations will be in place in light of COVID-19.

“Through our partnership with The W Nail Bar, we are revolutionizing the way customers shop in our stores by bringing engaging, experiential and convenient services to our customers,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president. “We are proud to launch this partnership with a company that shares many of the same goals that we do at Hy-Vee, including innovative offerings and exceptional customer service.”

Hy-Vee has partnered with others to add a number of non-grocery shopping experiences and products to its stores. This includes an agreement with Canada’s Loblaw chain to open Joe Fresh fashion shops in some stores and another with the bath and beauty brand, Basin, to open Basin and Beauty in-store shops.

Under another recent partnership, Hy-Vee has opened a few Orangetheory fitness boutiques adjacent to its smaller Hy-Vee HealthMarket locations. Hy-Vee dietitians offer dietetic services, provide samples of nutritional products and lead store tours with Orangetheory members.

Last April, Hy-Vee announced plans to open more than 120 DSW in-store shops selling footwear inside its stores. DSW has a similar partnership with W Nail Bar that it says has led to repeat visits. Hy-Vee has also converted its Market Grille restaurants to the Wahlburgers fast-food chain under a licensed agreement.

The W Nail Bar was founded by two sisters from Ohio who worked in their family’s grocery store before combining forces in 2015 to open their first salon. Said co-founder, Lauren Hunter, “We are excited to collaborate with Hy-Vee to bring our own twist to the grocery space.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think that nail salons will appeal to Hy-Vee’s shoppers? What other services may work within grocery store layouts should nail salons prove successful?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I think we will come full circle with services like dry cleaning which were prevalent in supermarkets in the '80s and '90s."
"Hy-Vee is a great example of a retailer unafraid to think boldly and with courage, and to continuously innovate around what the modern grocer can be."
"Yes, yes, yes. Customers are time-starved and tired of deprivation. I, for one, would love to come home from the grocery store with perfect tips."

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21 Comments on "Will shoppers get their nails done at Hy-Vee?"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

I’ve seen other grocers experiment with this kind of thing and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Where it doesn’t work is when the service is thrown into the store and is not made to feel special. Very few people want beauty services to be administered in the middle of a busy store while people are rushing by to buy laundry detergent. However when the concept is a store-within-a-store and feels separate from the main supermarket it can work well as it attracts passing foot traffic and is convenient and saves time. It’s all about understanding the customer mindset (which in beauty is most often about feeling pampered, relaxed and indulged) and making sure the execution delivers on those needs.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Exactly, Neil! A visit to The W Nail Bar will be a destination visit.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Yes, yes, yes. Customers are time-starved and tired of deprivation. I, for one, would love to come home from the grocery store with perfect tips.

Chuck Ehredt
BrainTrust

This is not about nail polish. What this demonstrates is the continued evolution of marketplaces – which can be seen from the way vendors sold goods along the silk road 6,000 years ago, to the evolution of Main Street during the past couple centuries, then shopping malls, and now e-commerce marketplaces.

Customers want choice, value and experiences. Brands like Hy-Vee that can create a marketplace environment for customers have the ability to build loyalty with customers because they deliver more value for effort, and, since time is the customer’s most precious resource, helping customers achieve more in less time is a winning formula.

Raj B. Shroff
BrainTrust

Yes, if the W Nail Bar design aligns with how it appears in DSWs then it will be attractive to Hy-Vee shoppers. People are busy and looking for convenience and an easy and appealing solution like this can fill the needs of many.

As for other services, there are already many out there; banks, dry-cleaning, nails, barbers, restaurants, coffee shops.

Pet care, vets, etc. would be something to explore as it continues to grow at a rapid rate and I believe the market is still under-served.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Hy-Vee’s partnership with the W Nail Bar only represents a small part of how the in-store grocery experience is transforming and evolving. With so much of the center store consolidating and being re-purposed for value-driven services, prepared foods, groceraunts, etc., the time is ripe for this kind of collaboration.

As customers acquire their packaged goods via subscription services, grocery operations quickly rationalize their center store assortments to increase the profit drivers and services the one-stop-shop customer are seeking. This sort of experimentation may work, as the grocery store is being re-imagined and will certainly not reflect the grocery stores we see today.

Brian Cluster
BrainTrust

Per their website, Hy-Vee’s mission statement is: “Committed to making the lives of our customers and employees easier, healthier, and happier.”

It’s a very broad mission but both the nail salon and the cooperative marketing with a fitness studio make a lot of sense. More intriguing to me are the ties to fitness. This can be very helpful as when people start at a gym, they are also likely looking to change up their nutrition plan. Hy-Vee could coordinate with the fitness studio several different nutrition plans with aisle or website guidance that could make the plans easier to adopt. On the other side of the coin, Hy-Vee could run promotions or sweepstakes to win fitness memberships based on certain category purchase levels. Creating a community of health based on a common purpose for these two businesses can create a great deal of goodwill. The question is, how might corporate provide the flexibility for that local store to execute on these ideas?

Jeff Hall
BrainTrust

Hy-Vee is a great example of a retailer unafraid to think boldly and with courage, and to continuously innovate around what the modern grocer can be. They continue to tap into today’s consumer expectations: accomplish as much as possible in a single store visit — fuel, food, health and beauty services, working out, non-grocery retail purchases, etc. Hy-Vee raises the bar and their customers reward them with greater share of wallet, loyalty and advocacy.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust
Richard Hernandez
Director, Main Street Markets
4 months 16 days ago

Of course it will. There are already barbershops and beauty salons in Walmart stores, so this is no different. I think we will come full circle with services like dry cleaning which were prevalent in supermarkets in the ’80s and ’90s.

Scott Norris
Guest

Everything comes back around. Here in the Twin Cities, Holiday Stationstores built several Holiday Plus hypermarts back in the 1980s – which of course copied what was going on in Europe at the time. When I visited Beijing back in 2007, the local supermarket had several complementary shops inside like a dry cleaner, but also a military surplus store. 🙂

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Shopping is theater and Hy-Vee has the right idea with nail salons. I would consider child and pet care as well. Many stores have extra square footage and this space or adjacent space available from the pandemic could offer grocers options that will drive traffic. Charging stations are a simple cost-justifiable way to drive traffic and increase dwell times as well. Hair salons may also be an option — we are only limited by our creativity to create a sense of theater in a store.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I’ve always been bullish on Hy-Vee, but this move is channeling my inner bear. Somehow I can’t see anyone getting a full body wax while the Rocky Road ice cream melts any more than I can see somebody getting a manicure before they run through a full shopping experience. So — as I so often say — the Devil is in the execution. I’m not saying it won’t work, I’m just saying, “it’s complicated.”

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Will shoppers get their nails done at Hy-Vee? The answer is some shoppers will get their nails done at Hy-Vee but those looking for a relaxing spa setting probably will not. Our local Walmart has a nail salon, threading and other personal services at the front of the store by the checkouts. Sitting in full view of every shopper waiting to check out isn’t remotely appealing to me. I get a manicure a few times a month and the experience is far more important to me than saving a few bucks.

That being said, where Hy-Vee places The W Nail Bar on the sales floor will be important. This is an upscale salon with beautiful decor; both the salon and its customers deserve to be in a semi-private and luxurious location.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

Will shoppers get their nails done at Hy-Vee? The answer is some shoppers will get their nails done at Hy-Vee but those looking for a relaxing spa setting probably will not. Our local Walmart has a nail salon, threading and other personal services at the front of the store by the checkouts. Sitting in full view of every shopper waiting to check out isn’t remotely appealing to me. I get a manicure a few times a month and the experience is far more important to me than saving a few bucks.

That being said, where Hy-Vee places The W Nail Bar on the sales floor will be important. This is an upscale salon with beautiful decor; both the salon and its customers deserve to be in a semi-private and luxurious location.

David Adelman
Guest

Providing a unique in-store customer experience is key to any retailer’s long-term survival. However a nail salon inside a grocery store? I don’t know about most people, but if I walked into a grocery store and saw people having their feet scraped combined with the toxic smell of nail polish, I would be out of there!

A selection of complementary products like small kitchen appliances, a coffee bar, a snack shop, even garden tools could work; however I believe that any personal hygiene services should be reserved for a different venue.

In Canada, I don’t believe any retailer would even be able to apply for this type of service where groceries are sold. When consumers shop for groceries, most of the time they want to get in and out quickly. Stopping for a coffee or snack break while in-store, definitely; getting their nails done, I don’t think so.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

Hy-Vee is no longer just a retail grocer. They are working their way into the fabric of their customers’ lives. Groceries, prepared meals, restaurants, pharmacy — so why not nails? The goal is to get people in their doors and accustomed to making the store a part of their lives. They want to be convenient and relevant to their customers.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

This seems smart on the part of Hy-Vee. But can we please stop calling these efforts “revolutionizing shopping”? They are making a smart move by adding a service their shoppers may appreciate. Excellent. Revolutionizing? Nope.

John Karolefski
BrainTrust

I’d say this has a 50-50 chance of succeeding. It expands the concept of one-stop shopping, and would appeal to some shoppers. But I wonder where will such expansion end? Are tanning salons next?

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn
Guest

I believe people will give nail care a try at Hy-Vee, which has been highly rated for hygiene and brand equity during the pandemic. Hy-Vee piloted Orangetheory fitness centers in their stores, bolstering the company’s health-beauty-wellness footprint. A one-stop-shopping experience also saves time especially for time-starved women who work and are their family’s Chief Health and Household Officers. I’m keen to watch this space for health and wellness at the grocery store.

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust

Hy-Vee is already known for the care they take with their in-store experience. Adding more services will only make them even better. I think a significant number of people will be happy to get their nails done in grocery stores, just as they have embraced Starbucks and health care clinics. Like everything, it’s going to come down to design and placement in the store.

storewanderer
Guest
4 months 15 days ago

Many Walmarts already have this type of concept as a tenant (right by the self checkouts) in a location that is far from relaxing looking but they seem to have traffic. There are a couple Walmarts in my area where the haircut tenant went out of business, but the nail tenant is still there.

In the case of Hy-Vee, they have many high volume, large stores and clearly are testing a number of different waters for how to enhance that store space. This will come down to execution; Hy-Vee has high foot traffic already, so the exposure will come from that. From what I have typically seen of Hy-Vee, they do such a great job with execution, they will definitely set this up for success.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I think we will come full circle with services like dry cleaning which were prevalent in supermarkets in the '80s and '90s."
"Hy-Vee is a great example of a retailer unafraid to think boldly and with courage, and to continuously innovate around what the modern grocer can be."
"Yes, yes, yes. Customers are time-starved and tired of deprivation. I, for one, would love to come home from the grocery store with perfect tips."

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