Hy-Vee sees improving supply, continues safety measures

HyVee is starting to see an improvement in their supply chain after weeks of battling to keep...
HyVee is starting to see an improvement in their supply chain after weeks of battling to keep their shelves stocked. (Source: Kelsey Dickeson, KSNB)(KSNB)
Published: Apr. 23, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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Grocery stores all across the country are battling to keep shelves stocked during this pandemic. But the Hy-Vee store in Kearney is noticing an encouraging change.

Employees are constantly filling online orders, and restocking the store as items like toilet paper and sanitizing products continue to fly off the shelves.

"This is completely unprecedented times," said Adam Krepela, store director of Hy-Vee in Kearney. "I've worked for Hy-Vee since I was 15 years old, so 30 years, and there has never been a time like this before."

Krepela said as the store has significantly increased shipments, receiving truck loads full of food and other products every day.

Meat is also in high demand. But despite the fact that some meatpacking plants have closed across the country, and certain products are going out of the store just as fast as they're coming in, Krepela said their supply chain is holding up - and even improving.

"We've reached out to our distribution centers, and our corporate offices have been great about getting us extra trucks, finding extra truck drivers to bring us the loads that we need to try to get the items that we can that our community needs," Krepela said.

Hy-Vee is also promoting social distancing and good hygiene practices within their store, both at checkout and in the aisles.

There are social distancing dots on the ground at checkout so people can stand six feet apart.

Employees are cleaning the belt after each customer, and are constantly washing their hands or wearing gloves. There's also a plexiglass shield between the staff member and customers at the register.

HyVee has also made one way aisles, pointing people in the directions they should go.

"That's our job to serve the community to do whatever we can to get people through these trying times," Krepela said.

For about a week and a half, HyVee has also started a new program called Mealtime To Go. People can order pre-made meals that include selections from Asian, Hickory House, sandwiches, breakfast, sushi and take-and-bake items.

Hy-Vee has also noticed a significant increase in sales of beauty products lately.

In a press release, they said:

"Since mid-March, hair coloring, nail polish and nail care products have more than doubled in sales at Hy-Vee. As more customers cut their hair at home, sales for hair trimmers have more than tripled since the end of March. Additionally, demand for hair accessories has been on the rise since the beginning of April as customers seek elastic bands to make masks."

Although some of the challenges the coronavirus has brought on seem to be leveling off, Krepela said they're not sure what things will look like even in the next few weeks.