Mar 11, 2024 - News

Hy-Vee's good faith talks about hour cuts continue with city

A photo of the downtown Des Moines Hy-Vee.

Some of the city of Des Moines' financial incentives for the downtown Hy-Vee are over a 15-year period. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

More than a month has passed since Hy-Vee abruptly cut its downtown store hours and the city government still hasn't issued a 45-day notice to restore them.

  • Deputy city manager Matt Anderson tells Axios that's because the grocer continues good faith talks with the city about the issue.

Why it matters: Des Moines provided millions of dollars in incentives for a "full-service grocery store" prior to its 2017 opening via a development agreement that included minimum store hours.

Catch up fast: Hy-Vee shaved seven hours off its daily operations in early February, company spokesperson Tina Potthoff told Axios at the time.

  • She said theft and loitering have been a problem at the store with police being called more than 200 times in a six-month span.
  • Hy-Vee restored two of the chopped hours after the initial change and is now open from 7am-7pm.

Friction point: The store is supposed to be open from at least 6am-11pm, per the agreement with the city.

  • In the month since Hy-Vee's reductions, Walgreens closed its downtown store and Kum & Go announced it's closing its nearby convenience store on March 24.

What they're saying: Anderson did not provide a timeline for when city discussions with Hy-Vee might conclude.

  • Potthoff confirmed that conversations with the city are ongoing but declined Axios' request for comment.

The intrigue: A main aisle at the downtown store that had been blocked by stacks of merchandise was recently cleared.

  • Gates restricting entrance to the store's liquor section are still used.
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