Store Spotlight: Hy-Vee


Even after 91 years in business, Hy-Vee continues to experiment and test different offerings to enhance its shopper appeal. Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg opened their first store in Beaconfield, Iowa, in 1930. These days, the employee-owned grocer has more than 275 stores in eight Midwestern states.

The retailer is not afraid to employ a variety of signage and display types to grab shopper attention. For instance, the amount of balloons in its stores is dwarfed only by the COVID-19 safety messaging that is all but standard at retail these days.

With some locations boasting footprints of more than 90,000 square feet, the retailer has room to devote to experiences that set itself apart from other supermarkets. In the fall of 2020, Hy-Vee opened DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse mini-stores within six of its existing Minnesota sites. In April, the retailer opened the first of several in-store nail salons planned for select locations through a partnership with The W Nail Bar.


The retailer employs large ceiling banners with “Low Price Lockdown” messaging and oversized packaging shots of a variety of brands, from Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies to Del Monte Foods green beans.

Crate-style shelving is incorporated into endcap displays and, in some cases, the crates are positioned next to floorstands or stacked on top of each other. Products spotted in the crates include Hormel’s Planters peanuts, Blue Diamond Growers almonds and King’s Hawaiian buns.

The retailer’s upfront Health Market hosts a bevy of better-for-you brands such as Kind and Hint on shelves with wood accents to distinguish the section from the standard grocery aisles.

The retailer is big on utilizing three-tier wicker basket stands in all upfront areas of the store, including checkout. Basket dwellers included The Hershey Co.’s Skinny Pop, Mondelez International’s Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish, and Procter & Gamble’s Vicks NyQuil.

At select Hy-Vee stores in Minnesota, shoppers can walk right into the DSW mini-shop from the grocery side.

Messaging on a shoe display wall encourages shoppers to scan QR codes corresponding with different pairs to link to for purchase.

Like DSW, Basin brand bath and beauty products have been highlighted in store-within-a-store concepts at Hy-Vee. Locations that do not contain a full mini-store have unique shelving dedicated to Basin in the beauty department.

Within the Health Market, in-line merchandising for Performance Inspired supplements is accompanied by a header with “Exclusively at Hy-Vee” messaging and a TV playing promotional videos – all featuring actor Mark Wahlberg, one of the brand’s co-founders.

Illuminated endcaps near the pharmacy carry brands such as Unilever’s Bed Head, Chattem’s Gold Bond and Henkel’s Sexy Hair.