Hy-Vee's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
April 24, 2020 | News & Press Releases
At Hy-Vee, we are committed to making our customers’ lives easier, healthier and happier. We care deeply about the communities we serve and believe that by working together with our employees and customers, we can all assist in helping our communities as the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve.
April 24, 2020 Update
As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to unfold throughout our eight-state region, we are continually implementing new changes in our stores in an effort to protect our customers and employees.
Following guidelines made by the CDC and state officials, we have provided all of our employees with reusable masks for them to wear. We have been strongly encouraging employees to wear masks, however, following the recommendations of the CDC, we have not mandated it. Starting the week of April 26, that will change and the wearing of masks by employees will indeed be mandated at our retail locations.
As demand for our Aisles Online program has grown significantly during this time, we have made some adjustments to the program in an effort to better serve you. Every day, we are opening more Aisles Online timeslots for customers to choose from.
To limit customer traffic in stores, we are recommending a one person per cart rule. In an effort to promote social distancing, we have implemented one-way aisles and placed markers and signage throughout our stores. Temporary plexiglass window panels are now installed at all of our check stands, including in our pharmacies and convenience stores in an effort to limit direct contact among customers and employees. Panels are located both in front of and behind our store checkers.
Since the early beginning of this pandemic, we have become more efficient in our stocking and sanitizing efforts. As a result, we have extended our store hours slightly. Hours vary by store, so please check with your local store.
We recently launched full-service fueling at all of our convenience store locations. The service is offered at select pumps for customers who wish to use the service. We have also introduced a new curbside pickup service called Mealtime To Go where customers can order hot, prepared foods along with take-and-bake meals.
In late March, we suspended the use of reusable bags in stores as an extra layer of precaution. We also suspended in-store can and bottle redemption services and our return, refund and rain check policy.
To help our communities, we have announced a goal to raise $1 million to help supply food banks throughout our eight-state region. To contribute to this effort, you can donate a dollar or more at checkout or on Aisles Online, and we will match donations dollar for dollar, up to $500,000. We have also partnered with some of our vendors and suppliers to donate product to food banks and local communities in need.
We will continue to be here throughout these uncertain times to serve you – our valued customer. Thank you for your loyalty. Together, we will remain Helpful Smile Strong.
March 17, 2020 Update
Beginning tomorrow, March 18, Hy-Vee stores will close at 8 p.m. each day. Starting March 19, our new store hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
These shortened hours will allow our employees additional time to clean and sanitize all areas of the store, as well as time to restock the items that are in highest demand.
Operating with shorter store hours also will allow our employees additional time to care for their families and loved ones.
All our Hy-Vee convenience stores will continue to operate under their normal hours at this time. Customers can continue to purchase snacks, fuel and other items at these locations.
All dining areas in our stores, restaurants and convenience stores are now closed to the public. All Hy-Vee Market Grille bars also are closed. Food service areas will still be operating during their normal hours, offering freshly prepared meal options for carry-out only. If your local Hy-Vee has a Market Grille, you can still order for pick-up or curbside services.
For our Hy-Vee Aisles Online customers, we want you to know that we are transitioning some of our delivery service in several areas to third-party partners like Shipt and Door Dash (where available) in order to help our in-store employees focus on Aisles Online pickup orders and other needs at our stores.
This is an unprecedented time for all of us. We've never dealt with anything like this before, and we know you haven't either. We appreciate your patience and your loyalty as we navigate these changing times. We are committed to doing all we can to keep our customers and employees healthy and safe, and to being the “helpful smile in every aisle” you need during this time. Thank you for being a Hy-Vee customer.
March 16, 2020 Update
Due to the current situation we are all facing regarding concerns surrounding COVID-19, we are experiencing an increase in demand for our Aisles Online grocery service. Please know that we are actively working to open more time slots to our customers. In the meantime, if your preferred delivery or pickup timeslot is full, please choose the next best time slot that works for you.
We also are seeing larger than normal demand in certain categories both in store and online, which may cause certain products to appear available when shopping online but out of stock when your order is filled. You will only be charged for items received. The final paper receipt delivered with your order should reflect your final items and charges received. Please know that we are replenishing our stock daily in an attempt to meet your needs.
As we reassign our employees to meet increased demands inside our stores and to service curbside orders, we are leveraging third parties for all delivery orders. We are working with these partners on safe delivery practices and will communicate any customer order notes to them for delivery preferences.
We sincerely appreciate your patience during this time.
How we’re responding
We have increased and enhanced our sanitization protocols throughout our stores. Employees are regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, placing extra emphasis on high-touch surfaces like door handles, PIN pads at the checkout, restrooms, and other high-touch areas. Sanitizing wipes are available for customer use near all of our entrances, and hand sanitizer stations are located throughout our stores. Food service areas continue to be sanitized regularly as per FDA food code requirements.
The CDC and FDA have indicated that the coronavirus spread is not related to food. Our food service areas are still operating as usual, preparing and serving food per customer order. However, we have stopped sampling events in our stores and transitioned our salad bars to pre-packaged items.
For the time being, we are not allowing customers to use personal/reusable cups to refill fountain drinks, tea or coffee in any of our convenience stores or dining areas. If you have a cup that allows for a discount, we will certainly still apply the discount – but we need our customers to use a new cup each time. Our corporate partner Starbucks has already implemented a very similar practice for its coffee refills inside our stores.
We also have canceled any non-essential business-related travel and have asked our vendors and suppliers to stop all travel to our corporate offices and limit visits to our stores to help protect our employees and customers.
How you can help
In order to create a safe and clean shopping environment, we have asked all of our employees to take the following precautionary measures, and we urge our customers to do the same:
- Wash your hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Stay home if you become sick, and remain at home until you are free of symptoms for at least 24 hours.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. These are the areas where a virus can enter your body.
- Routinely and thoroughly clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve, not your hand, when you cough or sneeze.
Providing products & protection
We understand that many of you want to prepare during this time by stocking up on essential supplies. While we may have limited quantities available of certain items due to increased demand, we are working closely with our suppliers to make sure we have enough supplies to meet our shoppers’ needs. We are reaching out beyond our traditional supply channels to make sure we have the items you want. Our employees also are increasing their stocking efforts as we keep up with customer demand. As always, if you are looking for a certain product and can’t find it at your Hy-Vee store, simply ask one of the managers and we will do everything we can to find it for you.
Our Aisles Online service offers a good option for customers looking to purchase their grocery essentials without entering a store. You can choose to pick up your order at your local store, where one of our employees will bring it to your vehicle, or use our delivery service. Please know that our Aisles Online delivery drivers also are taking extra precautions during this time, and will not enter your home with your groceries so they can maintain a safe distance during the drop off.
Information about COVID-19 and its impact is widespread and changing daily. It is important that our customers have access to current, factual information about COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website provides daily updates on the coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. Your county and state health departments’ website contains updated COVID-19 information specific to your area.
For 90 years, we have been committed to providing our customers and communities with high-quality products, an amazing customer experience and a helpful smile in every aisle. We’ll be here throughout this situation to serve you, our loyal customer, and take whatever steps are necessary to make sure your health and safety are protected as you shop with us during this time. We appreciate your loyalty.