116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
West Des Moines-based retailer Hy-Vee — citing economic challenges and “uncertain times ahead” — said it will ask “up to 500 additional employees” to move from corporate-level jobs to retail positions at its stores.
Hy-Vee in March eliminated 121 corporate-level positions, with 102 of those employees offered retail positions at its stores.
The retailer, in a full-page advertorial in Wednesday’s Gazette, laid out the current challenges it says it and other companies in the retail food sector face.
“In preparation for the uncertain times ahead, Hy-Vee has begun taking strategic steps to analyze spending and reduce operational costs,” the company said in its statement.
In addition to requesting some 500 Hy-Vee employees make the change to retail jobs, the company said it will be “pausing several projects — such as the new warehouse in Cumming, Iowa — to be resumed at a later date.”
“Since we are in the midst of these changes, I don’t have details on specific numbers to share with you at this time,” Tina Potthoff, senior vice president of communications, told The Gazette in an email Wednesday.
The chain in its statement noted measures already implemented in recent years that include reducing store hours, “restructuring” its store leadership by adding district director and manager positions, and reducing the number of locations that service its Aisles Online orders.
READ THE AD: See Hy-Vee’s full-page advertorial in The Gazette
In Cedar Rapids, Aisles Online grocery services now are served from its Oakland Road, Wilson Avenue, and Edgewood Road Hy-Vee locations, Potthoff wrote in March in an email to The Gazette.
Among the sector’s current challenges, Hy-Vee cited rising inflation, increasing fuel and construction costs, and supply chain disruptions. It also noted the “pain point” direct and indirect remuneration fees that come as part of charges in connection with its pharmacy services.
Those pharmacy fees, Hy-Vee said, will “take away” more $100 million this year.
Hy-Vee in its statement did not specifically address its expansion plans into Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“As a trusted retailer that millions of people depend on every day, we need to make adjustments to better serve our customers and our more than 93,000 employees,” Hy-Vee Chairman and CEO Randy Edeker said in the statement.
It chain also announced its Food Bank Fridays, intended to raise donations for area food banks.
The chain reports more than 280 venues in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin, with 93,000 employees.
It closed its Collins Road NE grocery store, adjacent to Lindale Mall in Cedar Rapids, in January.
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Click on the image for a larger view of Hy-Vee’s advertorial in Wednesday’s Gazette: