DUBUQUE, IA – If you have stopped by the Locust Street Hy-Vee lately, you may have noticed a few new additions to the store. These changes are all part of a national trend for grocery stores across the country.
Marolyn Donath is a loyal Hy-Vee customer who has gotten to experience these changes. “Ever since they reopened the new store I have been shopping down here. In fact, we moved out to the other end of town and I still come down here,” she says.
The Locust and Dodge Street stores have both undergone renovations, making them very different from the Asbury Hy-Vee near Marolyn’s house, which she describes as being “too big and sprawling.”
Moving from a traditional big-box feel to a smaller market style is a national trend for grocery stores, according to consumer analysts like SuperMarket Guru Phil Lempert. Grocery stores like Hy-Vee are beginning to make that change by offering customers a more unique shopping experience. As Donath says about the Locust Street Hy-Vee, “I think they have the best of both because they have good produce for like farmers’ market type areas, plus they cater to a wide variety of other things that people are going to look for no matter how small or big.”
The latest and most noticeable change at the Locust Hy-Vee follows another national trend for supermarkets—the “groceraunt.” This term refers to the new in-store restaurants that are beginning to emerge in grocery stores across America.
Hy-Vee is one of the chains following this trend. The Market Café opened at the Dodge Street location in late 2013, and the Locust Street location followed suit earlier this month. Locust Street Hy-Vee restaurant manager Jake Bettcher says that eventually every Hy-Vee location will have either a Market Café or a Market Grille incorporated into their store.
Bettcher says the restaurant addition comes as a way to try and attract new customers. He says, “We’ve always had our breakfast and lunch customers, which have always been very, very good. But once five o’clock rolls around, the food court was always empty. So we’re trying to capture some of those night customers with some nice ambience and an actual sit-down restaurant.” The Market Café also offers a full-service bar with reasonably-priced drinks.
With the new option to have dinner out, maybe order a beer, and then go buy your milk and bread, grocery stores across the country are offering customers much more than just convenience.
We’ll see if this is a trend that sticks in the future.
Melissa is a junior at Loras College originally from Balltown, IA. Melissa is Associate Producer of LCTV News. She enjoys learning more about Dubuque and the Loras community through the work done by herself and the entire LCTV crew. Melissa has been involved in Loras College Television for the past two semesters and looks forward to everything to come.