Hy-Vee Backs Off Plan to Build Minnesota Distribution Center

Facility would have been the retailer's first outside of Iowa


By Rebekah Marcarelli, Winsight Grocery Business 

Mar. 07, 2019


Hy-Vee Inc. has officially pulled out of a project to build a new distribution center in Austin, Minn., after more than a year of delays and much anticipation by the community.


The distribution center would have been the retailer’s first outside of Iowa. Hy-Vee currently operates distribution centers in Chariton and Cherokee, Iowa, with a third perishable operation in Ankeny, Iowa.


Despite the fallout, it does not appear that Hy-Vee is giving up on the Minnesota market by any means, having recently expanded its pharmacy presence in the state with the purchase of all 10 local Weber & Judd pharmacies and actively opening new stores.


Pete Hosch, a Hy-Vee assistant VP, said the retailer is “stepping away from the project at this time” but is not saying it will never revisit building a facility in Austin, according to a report from the Austin Daily Herald.


Exploratory plans for the distribution center were first revealed in 2016, and the facility would have sat on 150 acres of land standing at 1 million square feet at the edge of the city, which is also home to Hormel Foods, according to The Des Moines Register.


At the time of the announcement Hy-Vee officials cited Austin’s “centralized location in the company’s eight-state territory interstate access as well as the community’s ample workforce” as the reasons behind its interest in building a facility there, according to a statement from Hy-Vee acquired by the Register.


Hy-Vee, which had planned to build the facility in phases, never went through with purchasing the property. In November 2017, the retailer revealed...


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