Hy-Vee in Robbinsdale, Minnesota
While traveling recently in Minnesota, I had to visit one of Hy-Vee’s newer stores. The chain consists of approximately 250 stores, and the ones in Minneapolis have received high praise for delivering a superior shopping experience. I’ll tell you, the praise is justified. The store in Robbinsdale was something special. The perimeter is a core focus. Themed mini-restaurants with ample seating space all seemed packed the evening I was there. I’d even go as far as to say the store has a leg up on Wegmans and Mariano’s, which are accepted as the standard. And while I have been critical of supermarkets for being slow in making the center-store departments more experiential, Hy-Vee is making strides.
- The pharmacy/health and beauty department is one of the center store areas that has been transformed into a wonderful experience. It is more befitting of a department store setting.
- There is no shortage of customers looking for a prepared dinner, and Hy-Vee has essentially established part of its store as an elegant food court. Beyond that, I witnessed impressive Fresh Bakery, Chophouse Meats and Fresh Seafood counters and the Charcuterie (deli).
- A spectacular array of products resides in the Health Market. The department spans two aisles and includes Women’s Health, Men’s Health and Children’s sections. The signage shows Hy-Vee’s commitment to its customers’ health.
- The baby, pet and greeting card/floral departments are far more experiential and asymmetrical than any we would typically see in a supermarket. Without a doubt, this creates an emotion of caring and results in loyalty and bigger basket sizes.
- Once you pass the Starbucks near the entrance, you can’t miss one of the several eating areas. Take note of the background. That’s a full bar with multiple TVs showing sports.