Kearney store will take Hy-Vee farther west

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Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:00 am

KEARNEY, Neb. — Major construction on Kearney’s Hy-Vee will begin before July ends.

The company anticipates an early spring opening for the 87,617-square-foot store, which is one of two being built in Nebraska and five throughout the country in the next year, Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer said. The Kearney store, one of 239 in the nation by the time it is finished, will be the chain’s westernmost location.

“It’s a natural progression for us in terms of growth,” Comer said. “We grow outward from our distribution facilities in Iowa.”

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She said the Kearney store will be a milestone for Hy-Vee.

“We see Kearney as the next step in our company’s success,” she said. “To be able to support a store of this size in a smaller community like Kearney is a testament to our company’s drawing power.”

Comer said Hy-Vee is devoted to building in Nebraska, with 24 stores currently in the state and another being built in Plattsmouth that will be finished before the Kearney store.

The store at 52nd Street and Third Avenue will hire 450 employees when it opens next spring, and 30 percent will be full-time employees. Comer said the store director will be hired from within the company and bring his or her own management team, but the bulk of the hiring will be local workers.

The grocery store will feature departments unique to the area, including a sushi bar and several other concepts not regularly seen in smaller cities.

“There will be lots of fresh food departments and other high-service concepts,” Comer said.

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