September 19, 2021

Hy-Vee shapes up shopping with fitness gear shops

Next week, Hy-Vee plans to debut a fitness equipment “store within a store” concept under a new partnership with Johnson Fitness & Wellness.

Plans call for Hy-Vee to unveil its first Johnson Fitness & Wellness showroom on Sept. 14 as part of the opening of the Midwestern grocer’s new 93,000-square-foot store in Grimes, Iowa. The food and drug chain said Wednesday that several more of the in-store fitness shops are scheduled to open by the end of 2021 under a rollout to selected locations across its eight-state market area.

The Johnson Fitness & Wellness boutiques in Hy-Vee stores will showcase several pieces of fitness equipment that customers can try out, including treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bikes and other gear. The showrooms will provide an omnichannel shopping experience, as products that customers see and test can be ordered online from Johnson Fitness & Wellness via a kiosk and QR codes. Free curbside home shipping is available for most items and, for an additional cost, customers can get in-home delivery and installation.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said Johnson Fitness & Wellness in-store shops mark the first U.S. partnership between a grocery retailer and a fitness equipment company.

The grocer added that the fitness gear boutiques also dovetail with its health and wellness offerings, which include dietitians who can provide customers with nutritional resources; in-store HealthMarket departments featuring nutritional and diet-specific products; 270 in-store and freestanding pharmacies providing prescription drug, immunization and wellness services; more than 70 in-store retail health clinics offering primary care; specialty pharmacies Amber Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions; and pharmacy benefit manager Vivid Clear Rx.

“As part of our mission to making customers’ lives easier, healthier and happier, we are deeply invested in the health and wellness journey of our customers,” Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said in a statement. “Our new partnership with 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.”

Hy-Vee described Johnson Fitness & Wellness as the largest specialty fitness retailer in the United States. Based in Cottage Grove, Wis., the chain offers fitness and wellness products for all ages and stages of life from brands such as Matrix Fitness, Vision Fitness, Horizon Fitness and Synca Wellness, among others.

“We’re excited to partner with Hy-Vee, who shares our mission of enhancing the lives of our customers through healthy choices,” stated Bob Zande, president of Johnson Fitness & Wellness. “This unique opportunity allows customers to get hands-on experience with high-quality, high-value fitness solutions where they already shop every week, and the online kiosk allows for them to easily have the equipment delivered to their home.”

The opening of Hy-Vee’s Grimes store also will premiere another “shop in shop” partner: Pair Eyewear. Last week, Hy-Vee announced that it plans to deploy branded eyewear kiosks from the online retailer at selected supermarket locations.

Other store-within-a-store concepts launched or planned by Hy-Vee — aimed at diversifying its product mix and extending consumer appeal beyond food and groceries — include a partnership with The W Nail Bar to open in-store nail salons; DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse shops inside six of its supermarkets in the Twin Cities area; apparel, accessories, footwear and beauty care departments under Loblaw Cos.Joe Fresh fashion brand in selected stores; and “Basin and Beauty” boutiques and displays offering bath and beauty products from upscale brand Basin.

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

https://www.supermarketnews.com/retail-financial/hy-vee-shapes-shopping-fitness-gear-shops