Toilet Paper and, Now, Treadmills at Hy-Vee

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With an eye toward whole-body health—and a whole new experience for customers—West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee announced it will open fitness equipment showrooms in select Hy-Vee stores in partnership with Johnson Fitness & Wellness. 

The first such fitness showroom will debut in Hy-Vee’s soon-to-open flagship store in the Des Moines suburb of Grimes, Iowa, on Sept. 14. Shoppers will be able to try out treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes and other fitness equipment and order products from a kiosk for (mostly) free curbside home shipping. Several additional showrooms are set to open in locations throughout Hy-Vee’s eight-state region by the end of 2021, the grocer stated.

“We are deeply invested in the health and wellness journey of our customers,” Hy-Vee Chairman, President and CEO Randy Edeker said in a news release, adding that teaming up with Cottage Grove, Wis.-based Johnson Fitness & Wellness “allows us to diversify and expand upon our current health offerings to provide our customers with all the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle.”

The pairing is a first-of-its-kind partnership between a grocer and a fitness equipment retailer, Hy-Vee touted, noting that its existing health resources for customers include in-house dietitians, 50-years-running pharmacy services and HealthMarket departments that group products by nutritional and diet-specific needs. Bob Zande, president of Johnson Health & Fitness, called the out-of-the-(treadmill)-box partnership a “unique opportunity [that] allows customers to get hands-on experience with high-quality, high-value fitness solutions where they already shop every week.”

The fitness showroom isn’t the only new concept that will launch inside Hy-Vee’s new, 93,000-square-foot flagship store at 351 N.E. Gateway Drive in Grimes next week: A Pair Eyewear kiosk will let customers try on frames in-store and order ship-to-home prescription and nonprescription eyewear for adults and children. 

Hy-Vee’s other big bets on experiential shopping in the past year have included the debuts of DSW shop-in-shops, where customers can try on and order seasonally trending shoes, and The W Nail Bar in-store nail salons. Last month, the company also announced a new standalone liquor-store concept, Wall to Wall Wine and Spirits, that will feature specialty grocery items, barware and related accessories. Opening dates are yet to be announced for the first four Wall to Wall stores, which will be located in Iowa and Nebraska.

Hy-Vee operates more than 280 retail stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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Health & Fitness