Hy-Vee will open an order fulfillment center in Omaha to serve its growing online shopping business, the Iowa supermarket operator said Wednesday. Hy-Vee didn’t say when or exactly where it would open the center.
It will be one of three new fulfillment centers, the others in Kansas City and the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Hy-Vee already operates one order fulfillment center, in the Des Moines area. The centers allow workers to efficiently fill orders for home delivery shoppers.
Hy-Vee also said it is exploring building more stores of different sizes around its eight-state region, but didn’t say when or where to expect stores.
The new stores will either be very small, or very big. Hy-Vee said it’s experimenting with a new concept, a 10,000-square-foot Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh, with the first locations in Altoona and Des Moines, with more to come around the region. Fast & Fresh stores will sell groceries, prepared foods and coffee.
Hy-Vee also is exploring an extra large store format — bigger than its typical new store size of about 90,000 square feet.
All the changes come as the supermarket operator shifts its business to meet consumers’ changing behaviors, Hy-Vee said.
“Hy-Vee customers are looking for faster, fresher options,” the company said Wednesday.
Supporting that effort will be a new 240,000-square-foot production facility in Ankeny, Iowa, a commissary and central bakery to create meal kits and prepared foods. And Hy-Vee will add a 48,000-square-foot space to its Chariton, Iowa, distribution center to produce freshly cut fruits and vegetables for retail stores, beginning in January.