Sep 16, 2021 - Business

Hy-Vee's new "smart store" model coming to the Twin Cities

A green and write kiosk, where a person orders a salad that is made inside

The new Hy-Vee smart stores have vending machines that make a salad for you. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios Des Moines

Hy-Vee's got a new "smart store" model, and the Twin Cities is going to get the company's biggest yet, reports Linh Ta of Axios Des Moines.

What's happening: Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker told Axios that the forthcoming store will be 147,000 square feet, providing ample space for experimentation. It will also have an e-commerce hub and micro-fulfillment center.

Details: The new smart stores have kiosks to help you do everything from order a custom cake to buy an elliptical machine.

  • Looking for high-end wines? You can find $1,000+ bottles in the store's wine and spirits section, plus a cigar room.
  • There's a hot food area that functions like a food hall. Order at a kiosk, sit down and someone will bring out your Hy-Chi (Hy-Vee's Chinese restaurant).
  • And yes, a vending machine will even make you a custom salad.

The intrigue: A location has not been finalized yet, said Hy-Vee spokesperson Tina Potthoff.

Nick's thought bubble: Hy-Vee's not saying, but this is almost certainly the grocer's planned Bloomington/Southtown location that Axios Twin Cities reported about last week.

  • Site plans call for a 132,500-square-foot Hy-Vee store with a 21,000-square-foot additional retail space that would be a logical fit for the fulfillment center.

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