|Founded||Beaconsfield, Iowa, (1930)|
|Headquarters||West Des Moines, Iowa|
|Number of locations||234 (November 2012)|
|Key people||Randy Edeker, Chairman, CEO and President
Mike Skokan, CFO
Ron Taylor, CAO
|Products||bakery, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gas, general grocery, meat and seafood, pharmacy, HealthMarket, wine & spirits, general merchandise, lawn and garden, fuel/convenience stores.|
|Revenue||$7.7 billion (2012)|
The largest Hy-Vee stores are full-service supermarkets with bakeries, delicatessens, floral departments, dine-in and carryout food service, wine and spirits, pharmacies, HealthMarkets (natural and organic products) and coffee kiosks (Caribou Coffee and Starbucks). Hy-Vee has also added fuel stations with convenience stores to some of its properties. Customers are often given a discount of several cents per gallon of gas when their grocery receipt is shown; the discount can often run between three cents a gallon, to as much as twenty cents a gallon, depending on the register receipt when purchasing groceries.
Hy-Vee is known for its longtime advertising slogan, "Where there's a helpful smile in every aisle". The slogan was adopted for Hy-Vee's first television commercial in 1963. When the jingle became a full song in the '90s, its music was written by Annie Meacham and James Poulsen.
Hy-Vee's largest store opened in mid-August 2012 in Urbandale, Iowa, with 95,283 square feet (8,852.1 m2) of retail space.
The company was founded by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg when they opened a general store in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in 1930. More stores were started, and in 1938, the company incorporated into Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc. Hyde & Vredenburg had 15 stores in Iowa and Missouri at that point. In 1945 Hyde & Vredenburg moved its corporate headquarters from Lamoni to Chariton, Iowa, after acquiring the Chariton Wholesale Company.
Lamoni had been headquarters of the RLDS Church. Both Hyde and Vredenburg were members of the church. Vredenburg's previous partnership of Vredenburgh & Lewis was associated with the General Supply Company which was a church affiliated business based in Lamoni (Vredenburg was listed as president and Hyde was a director when General Store was formally incorporated in 1922). The initial name of the partnership was the Supply Stores from 1930 to 1935 when it was made singular 1935 as the Supply Store (with each town's name preceding it) which remained its name until 1952. In 1937 the affiliation with the church name was dissolved and the formal ownership was called Hyde & Vredenburg although continuing the use the Supply Store name in each individual store. In creating the new company its ownership plan involved an ownership by individual store managers setting the stage for its eventual majority employee ownership.
The Hy-Vee name, a contraction of Hyde and Vredenburg, was adopted in 1952 as the winning entry of an employee contest. The first store to open under the Hy-Vee name opened in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1953. In 1960 the became employee owned by the Employees’ Trust Fund. Its name was officially changed to Hy-Vee Food Stores, Inc., in 1963. In 1969 Hy-Vee expanded into Minnesota after acquiring the Swanson Stores chain based in Cherokee, Iowa. That year it opened its first Drug Town pharmacy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; in 2005 all Drug Town stores were renamed Hy-Vee Drugstores in order to reflect the relationship between the chain's pharmacies and supermarkets. 
Hy-Vee is known to separate out departments into separate buildings as requirements dictate or to best serve the customer. This is most commonly seen by the construction of a separate building for Hy-Vee Gas. One of the more interesting situations is the Wine and Spirits department for the Prairie Village, Kansas store is in a separate building across the street in Kansas City, Missouri. In Minnesota, where grocery stores cannot sell alcoholic beverages over 3.2% alcohol by volume, some Hy-Vee stores have separate Hy-Vee branded liquor stores in adjacent facilities.
Hy-Vee continued expanding during the 1970s and 1980s, opening stores in South Dakota (1975), Nebraska (1977), Illinois (1979), and Kansas (1988). Hy-Vee's 100th store, which was also its first to use electronic cash registers, opened in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1975. By the end of 1989 Hy-Vee had 172 stores in seven states. In 1995 Hy-Vee moved its corporate headquarters from Chariton to its current home in West Des Moines, Iowa, while shortening its name to Hy-Vee, Inc. The company still has its primary distribution center in Chariton; a second distribution center is located in Cherokee, Iowa.
Hy-Vee purchased the naming rights to the Iowa Events Center's exhibition hall in 2001; Hy-Vee Hall was completed in December 2004. Hy-Vee also sponsors the annual Hy-Vee Triathlon; in 2011 it served as the U.S. Championship of World Triathlon Corporation’s 5150 Series. Hy-Vee also holds IronKids triathlons in more than a dozen locations around the Midwest. The Hy-Vee IronKids U.S. Championship will be held in West Des Moines.
From 2000 to 2006 the company sponsored the Hy-Vee Classic, a golf tournament for the Women's Senior Golf Tour, later renamed the LPGA Legends Tour. Hy-Vee has served as a sponsor of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals since 2001, and in 2009 replaced Price Chopper as the official grocery store of the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. Before and during the 2008 Summer Olympics, Hy-Vee ran a television ad featuring eventual gold medalist Shawn Johnson.
Throughout its history Hy-Vee has branched out from its retail operations by acquiring several companies that provide services to its stores. Hy-Vee's non-retail subsidiaries are:
- D & D Foods, Inc., a supplier of freshly prepared salads, dips, meat and entree items based in Omaha, Nebraska
- Florist Distributing, Inc., a distributor of flowers and plants based in Des Moines, Iowa
- Hy-Vee Weitz, L.C., a construction company based in Des Moines
- Lomar Distributing, Inc., a specialty food distributor based in Des Moines
- Midwest Heritage Bank, FSB, with branch locations and offices in Iowa
- Perishable Distributors of Iowa, Ltd., a distributor of meat, seafood, cheese and dairy items based in Ankeny, Iowa
Hy-Vee Inc. employs over 60,000 individuals and is the largest employer in the state of Iowa. The company has annual sales of over $7.3 billion. In 2011, Hy-Vee ranked 48th on Forbes magazine's annual list of the largest privately owned companies in the United States.
Shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in Iowa, Hy-Vee expanded their spousal benefits to include gay couples. The new policy was implemented on all Hy-Vee stores, even in states such as Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, and Missouri that do not protect gay individuals. This action has made Hy-Vee one of the most gay-friendly companies in the Midwest.
In 2012, Hy-Vee, Inc. began the Hy-Vee Fuel Saver program which allows customers to earn discounts on fuel by purchasing select items. The discount is loaded onto a card that is inserted at the gas pump of all Hy-Vee Gas locations, Casey's General Stores and certain Shell Oil Company stations. Customers have thirty days to use the earned points before they expire. 
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