Concept aims to make healthy lifestyle accessible
The 15,700-square-foot store combines several of the initiatives and partnerships Hy-Vee has undertaken in recent years to spur growth and keep current in a rapidly evolving retail landscape. The store includes a few new experiments as well, including a hearing aid department operated by Lucid Hearing, which has an audiologist on the premises to perform hearing tests and sell a private label line of hearing aids, called Capsure, developed for Hy-Vee.
Other in-store health services include a pharmacy, a clinic and dietary consultations with a Hy-Vee dietitian.
Shoppers can directly enter a fitness studio operated by Orangetheory Fitness, a provider of group personal training sessions and interval fitness programs and a Hy-Vee partner since last year.
A sports nutrition department features supplements, protein powders and nutrition bars, including products in the Performance Inspired line cofounded by actor, director and entrepreneur Mark Wahlberg. Hy-Vee has exclusive rights to the line in its eight-state region. A variety of probiotic and homeopathic products are also offered in the store, along with expansive selections of beauty and wellness items.
Food shoppers can find an array of fresh-prepared items, meal solutions, frozen food and organic fruits and vegetables.
“A lot of customers today can live out of this store,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Edeker said Hy-Vee has two more HealthMarket stores planned, in the Kansas City area and in Madison, Wis., and he sees room for several more if customers respond to the concept.
Edeker believes that the store’s relatively small offering (11,000 SKUs) is offset by an adjacent pickup destination for shoppers who order from the retailer’s Aisles Online e-commerce platform then schedule a time to drive to the store, where an employee will deliver the merchandise to their vehicle.
The new HealthMarket was built in a fast-growing area of Des Moines and is a stone’s throw away from an upscale shopping center and corporate campuses occupied by workers in the financial services and insurance sectors.
Hy-Vee executives emphasized that HealthMarket represents a chance for the retailer to experiment with ways to serve the growing segment of the customer base that is trying to be more selective about what they put into their bodies. “It’s a concept store — we’ll see how this goes,” said Matt Pertzborn, the store’s director.
One immediate benefit is that the store presents Hy-Vee with a fresh way to burnish its image as a partner that can be trusted to help shoppers live healthier lives, Pertzborn said.