Hy-Vee Article

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Hy-Vee, Inc.
Industry Retail ( grocery)
Founded Beaconsfield, Iowa, (1930)
FoundersCharles Hyde
David Vredenburg
Headquarters West Des Moines, Iowa
Number of locations
245+ (2018) [1]
Key people
Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President
Mike Skokan, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Jay Marshall, Executive Vice President, Co-Chief Operating Officer, President, Hy-Vee Subsidiaries/Commissaries
Jeremy Gosch, Executive Vice President, Co-Chief Operating Officer, Chief Marketing Officer
Sheila Laing, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer
Donna Tweeden, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, Brand Experience
Brett Bremser, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer
Karl Kruse, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain
Matt Ludwig, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, E-Commerce
Darren Baty, Executive Vice President - Northern Region
Kevin Sherlock, Executive Vice President - Southeast Region
Nate Stewart, Executive Vice President - Southwest Region
Productsbakery, catering, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gas, general grocery, meat and seafood, pharmacy, HealthMarket, Health Clinics, Market Grille, wine & spirits, general merchandise, lawn & garden, floristry, fuel/convenience stores.
RevenueIncrease $10.0 Billion (2018)
Number of employees
85,000 [1]
Website hy-vee.com

Hy-Vee /ˌhˈv/ is an employee-owned chain of more than 245 supermarkets located throughout the Midwestern United States in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Hy-Vee was founded in 1930 by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in a small brick building known as the Beaconsfield Supply Store, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The largest Hy-Vee stores are full-service supermarkets with bakeries, delicatessens, floral departments, dine-in and carryout food service, wine and spirits, pharmacies, health clinics, HealthMarkets (natural and organic products) and coffee kiosks ( Caribou Coffee and Starbucks). The company maintains fuel stations with convenience stores, fitness centers, and full service restaurants at some of its properties. Hy-Vee's largest store opened March 10, 2015, in Bloomington, Illinois, with 108,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of retail space. [2]

Hy-Vee's longtime advertising slogan, "Where there's a helpful smile in every aisle," was adopted for the chain's first television commercial in 1963. The slogan became a jingle in the 1990s with music by Annie Meacham and James Poulsen.

The Hy-Vee Market Grille Logo.


Early years and General Supply Company

Starting in 1917, Vredenburg & Lewis, David Vredenburg's previous partnership, operated stores as part of the General Supply Company, an RLDS Church owned company based in Lamoni, Iowa.

In 1921, Charles Hyde started working for the General Supply Company's store in Woodbine, Iowa, which was operated by Vredenburg & Lewis. In 1922, the General Supply Company was formally incorporated. When incorporated, David Vredenburg was president and Charles Hyde was a member of the board of directors. In 1924, Charles Hyde left the General Supply Company and started his own store in Cameron, Missouri.

In 1927, Hyde purchased a half stake of a store in Kellerton, Iowa, the other half being owned by the General Supply Company, whose president was Vredenburg. In 1930, Vredenburg and Hyde started a separate partnership from the General Supply Company, named Supply Stores, and opened their first store in Beaconsfield, Iowa.

In 1932, The General Supply Company was dissolved because of effects of the Great Depression. Vredenburg purchased most of the former General Supply Company's remaining stores and mill. Both Hyde and Vredenburg owned and operated other stores independently, outside of their partnership, at this time. Hyde and Vredenburg's partnership was briefly dissolved for approximately six months in 1935 after Iowa enacted the Chain Tax Act of 1935, a heavy tax against chain stores, which was later declared unconstitutional.

In 1938, Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc was officially incorporated, with 15 stores in Iowa and Missouri. The incorporation consolidated all of Hyde's and Vredenburg's independently owned stores, with the stores they had in their partnership. The company was headquartered in Lamoni. In creating the new company, its management plan involved autonomy by individual store managers, setting the stage for its eventual employee ownership.

In 1945, Hyde & Vredenburg moved its corporate headquarters from Lamoni to Chariton, Iowa, after acquiring the Chariton Wholesale Company.

The Supply Store name, with each town's name preceding it, was still used on most stores until 1952. A few stores were named differently, with names such as: Hyde's Service Store, Vredenburg's Grocery, and Hyde & Vredenburg, which were all changed in 1952. [3] [4]

1950s and 1960s

The Hy-Vee name, a contraction of Hyde and Vredenburg, was adopted in 1952 as the winning entry of an employee contest. The first store to open under the Hy-Vee name opened in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1953. In 1956, Hy-Vee introduced its first private label products, along with a new logo for the Hy-Vee name. [5] In 1957, Hy-Vee opened its first in-store bakery at the Iowa City, Iowa, store.

In 1960, the company became employee owned by the Employees’ Trust Fund. [6] The slogan "Where There's a Helpful Smile in every Aisle" was first used in a TV commercial in 1963. The company's name was officially changed to Hy-Vee Food Stores, Inc., in 1963.

In 1969, Hy-Vee expanded into Minnesota, after acquiring the Swanson Stores chain based in Cherokee, Iowa. In 1969, Hy-Vee opened its first Drug Town, a pharmacy separate from a regular store, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Hy-Vee had 66 stores at the end of 1969.

1970s, '80s, and '90s

A Hy-Vee Store in Dubuque, Iowa.

Hy-Vee continued expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, opening stores in South Dakota (1975), Nebraska (1977), Illinois (1979), and Kansas (1988). In 1975, Hy-Vee's 100th store, which was also its first to use electronic cash registers, opened in Keokuk, Iowa. By the end of 1989 Hy-Vee had 172 stores in seven states. [7] In 1994, Hy-Vee updated its 30-year-old logo, which is the logo that is used today.

In 1995 Hy-Vee moved its corporate headquarters from Chariton to its current home in West Des Moines, Iowa, while shortening its name to Hy-Vee, Inc. The company still has its primary distribution center in Chariton; a second distribution center is located in Cherokee, Iowa.


At the turn of the century, Hy-Vee increased its focus on customers' healthy lifestyles. HealthMarket private-label products were introduced in 2001. The company also began its initiative to provide customers with the services of corporate and in-store dietitians.

Stores began offering an expanded line of ethnic foods to the increasingly diverse population of the Midwest. Online shopping capabilities expanded in 2005, with a redesigned Hy-Vee Web site offering online shopping for such items as holiday meals, floral arrangements and catering selections; gift cards were added in 2006.

Hy-Vee was selected as Progressive Grocer's Retailer of the Year in 2003. [8] Drug Town stores were renamed Hy-Vee Drugstores in 2005. Hy-Vee celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2005 with the publication of a second company history book (The History of Hy-Vee). In 2007, Hy-Vee's first store, which was located in Beaconsfield, Iowa, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. [9]

In fiscal year 2009, Hy-Vee had sales exceeding $6.3 billion; at the time, it was the second-largest employee-owned company in the United States and ranked by Forbes magazine as the 48th-largest privately owned company in the country. [10] There were more than 55,000 employees working in the Hy-Vee family in 2009.

By the end of 2009, there were 228 stores. In 2009, Hy-Vee moved into its eighth state of operations when the store in Madison, Wisconsin opened. Hy-Vee's fourth president, Randy Edeker, was selected to lead the company in December of 2009. Ric Jurgens retained the titles of chairman and chief executive officer until 2012, when Edeker assumed those roles.


In 2012, Hy-Vee introduced its loyalty program, Hy-Vee Fuel Saver, which allows customers to earn discounts on fuel at Casey's General Stores; Shell; PDQ/ Kwik Trip, [11] as well as Hy-Vee's own gas stations, by purchasing select items. [12] The name of the loyalty program was changed in 2015 to Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks.

In 2012, Hy-Vee started to add full service restaurants to some stores, named Hy-Vee Market Grille. [13]

In 2015, Hy-Vee brought online shopping to all their stores with the introduction of their new website Hy-Vee Aisles Online. [14]

In September 2015, Hy-Vee opened its first stores in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. [15]

In 2016, Hy-Vee began opening clothing boutiques featuring Tesco's F&F brand in select larger locations. [16]

In 2017, Hy-Vee became the exclusive retailer in its service area for sports nutrition products marketed by Mark Wahlberg. This expanded into a deal making Hy-Vee a franchisee for Wahlburgers restaurants; the first location under the deal opened in May 2018 at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. [17]

Information and statistics

Hy-Vee is known to move departments into separate buildings as requirements dictate, or for optimal customer service. This is commonly seen in the construction of a separate building for Hy-Vee Gas, usually near a main store. It is also common for Hy-Vee to have attached liquor stores, which is the case in Minnesota, where grocery stores are not allowed to sell alcoholic beverages over 3.2% alcohol by volume. In some cases, there is a completely separate building for the liquor department, such as the Prairie Village, Kansas store, where the liquor store is across the street (state line road) in Kansas City, Missouri, and adheres to Missouri alcohol laws instead of the laws of Kansas.

Hy-Vee ranked second on the National Center for Employee Ownership's list of Largest Employee Owned Companies in 2011. [18] Hy-Vee ranked 27th on Forbes magazine's annual list of the largest privately owned companies in the United States in 2017. [19] Hy-Vee ranked 27th on "Top 75 North American Food Retailers" by Supermarket News in 2016. [20] Hy-Vee ranked 4th on America’s Favorite Grocery Retailers by Market Force Information in 2016. [21]

Hy-Vee garnered numerous awards in 2017, including recognition by Forbes as one of America's Best Employers. Forbes also named Hy-Vee as one of the top 50 private companies in the United States. Hy-Vee ranked as the sixth favorite Grocery Retailer in America by Market Force in 2017. Progressive Grocer selected Hy-Vee as its Retailer of the Year in 2017, while Mass Market Retailers appointed Hy-Vee as the 2017 Retail Innovator of the Year.

As of 2018, Hy-Vee Inc. employs more than 84,000 and is the largest private employer in the state of Iowa. The company has annual sales of more than $10 billion.

Presidents and CEOs

Hy-Vee has had four leaders in its 88-year history [22]

Dwight Vredenburg, son of founder David Vredenburg, became Hy-Vee's first president at 23 years old. He served as president for 45 years.

  • President: 1938–1983
  • CEO: 1978–1989
  • Chairman of the Board: 1978–1989

Ron Pearson, Hy-Vee's second CEO. During his time, Hy-Vee expanded its services to include gas stations, dry cleaning, takeout meals, and added online shopping.

  • President: 1983–2001
  • CEO: 1989–2003
  • Chairman of the Board: 1989–2006

Ric Jurgens, Hy-Vee's third CEO. Hy-Vee focused on healthy living during this time, adding pharmacies, clinics, dietitians, and health food sections to stores.

  • President: 2001–2009
  • CEO: 2003–2012
  • Chairman of the Board: 2006–2012

Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee's fourth and current CEO. Since 2012, Hy-Vee has renovated many of their stores, introduced the Hy-Vee Fuel Saver program, and emphasized expanding online shopping.

  • President: 2009–Present
  • CEO: 2012–Present
  • Chairman of the Board: 2012–Present


On May 17th, 2018, the Kansas City Star reported that Hy-Vee purchased the naming rights to the iconic Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. The renovated Hy-Vee Arena is slated to be an Adult and Youth sports facility. [23]

Hy-Vee purchased the naming rights to the Iowa Events Center's exhibition hall, named Hy-Vee Hall in 2001; the venue was completed in December 2004.

Hy-Vee serves as title or presenting sponsor for multiple major sporting events:

Hy-Vee previously served as title or presenting sponsor for multiple now-defunct sporting events:

Hy-Vee serves as a sponsor for multiple cultural events in the Des Moines area:

In October of 2017, Hy-Vee was named the official grocery, pharmacy, and floral partner of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, WNBA's Minnesota Lynx and the G-League's Iowa Wolves. [27]

In July of 2015, Hy-Vee was named the official grocery, pharmacy, and floral partner of the NHL's Minnesota Wild.

Hy-Vee was named a founding partner for U.S. Bank Stadium and official partner of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings in August 2015. This partnership includes prominent signage in the new stadium. [28]

Hy-Vee also serves as a sponsor for 38 colleges and universities over its eight-state region.

Hy-Vee served as a sponsor of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals from 2001 to 2016. [29]
In 2009, Hy-Vee replaced Price Chopper as the official grocery store of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. [30]


Throughout its history Hy-Vee has branched out from its retail operations by acquiring several companies that provide services to its stores. Hy-Vee's subsidiaries are: [31]

  • Midwest Heritage Bank, FSB, with branch locations and offices in Iowa
  • Lomar Distributing, Inc., a specialty food distributor based in Des Moines
    • Acquired in 1990
  • Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd., a distributor of meat, seafood, cheese and dairy items based in Ankeny, Iowa
    • Became an affiliate in 1982 and a subsidiary of Hy-Vee in 1990
  • D & D Foods, Inc., a supplier of freshly prepared salads, dips, meat and entree items based in Omaha, Nebraska
    • Originally named D & D Salads, Inc., this subsidiary was purchased in 1992
  • Florist Distributing, Inc., a distributor of flowers and plants based in Des Moines, Iowa
    • Became a subsidiary in 1992
  • Hy-Vee Construction, [35] L.C., a construction company based in Des Moines
    • Partially purchased Weitz Construction in 1995 and named Hy-Vee/Weitz Construction L.C. Purchased the remaining share of the company in 2013, officially forming a subsidiary.
  • Amber Pharmacy
    • Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions and Amber Pharmacy began a partnership in 2009. Amber Pharmacy was fully purchased in 2014.


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  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  25. ^ "Sponsors - Des Moines Arts Festival". desmoinesartsfestival.org.
  26. ^ "Sponsors - Iowa State Fair". Iowa State Fair.
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  29. ^ "Hy-Vee ends sponsorship of Kansas City Royals".
  30. ^ Hy-Vee, Inc. (press release) (2009-04-14). "Hy-Vee Becomes Official Grocery Partner of Kansas City Chiefs". Retrieved 2009-09-15.
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  33. ^ "FDIC: Institution Directory". www5.fdic.gov.
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  35. ^ "Hy-Vee Acquires Total Stake in Hy-Vee Weitz Construction". www.hy-vee.com.

External links