Feb 2, 2024 - News

Hy-Vee blocks aisles as it plans a downtown redesign

A photo inside Hy-Vee.

Gates as well a boxes of wine now serve as temporary partitions, blocking paths to aisles and making customers reroute within the downtown Hy-Vee. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Multiple pathways between aisles are temporarily blocked at the downtown Hy-Vee — a step in resetting the store's open layout, company spokesperson Tina Potthoff tells Axios.

Why it matters: It's the only full-service grocery store and pharmacy in downtown and previous proposed changes were not well received.

Catch up fast: Developers received millions of dollars in incentives allocated by the city of Des Moines, including a 10-year tax abatement for the project.

  • The store was initially supposed to be open 24 hours a day, but that plan changed prior to its grand opening in 2017.

Of note: The store's primary checkout option is now self-checkout kiosks, technology that has frustrated some customers.

What they're saying: The partitions that store employees recently put up to block customer traffic between multiple aisles are temporary as the store works to update its layout, Potthoff says.

  • The proposed new design would create partitions in several areas, including grocery, dining, coffee, and wine and spirits.

What's next: Discussions are still taking place and there is no timeline for permanent changes, Potthoff says.

  • Substantial changes to the building would likely require a city review or permits.
  • Hy-Vee recently reached out to city staff for discussions but hasn't yet submitted plans, Cody Christensen, DSM's development services director, told Axios yesterday.
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