- Hy-Vee announced on Wednesday it’s adding fitness equipment showrooms to several stores across its eight-state operating region by the end of this year.
- The chain has partnered with Johnson Fitness & Wellness, a leading specialty fitness retailer, to offer treadmills, elliptical machines, exercise bike and other equipment in the grocery stores. The first showroom will be inside Hy-Vee’s store in Grimes, Iowa, which opens on Sept. 14.
- The announcement is Hy-Vee’s latest trial of non-grocery products and services, including hybrid eyeglass kiosks, nail salons and shoe departments.
Hy-Vee continues to roll out an array of non-grocery products and services in an effort to solidify its stores as one-stop-shopping destinations for its customers.
The new fitness showrooms will feature several types of equipment that shoppers can peruse and try out. It will also include a kiosk and QR codes that connect to a digital storefront where customers can order products for home shipping. Hy-Vee said it will also offer curbside home shipping and that in-home delivery along with installation is available for an additional cost.
The grocer positioned its new partnership as an extension of its health commitment, which includes numerous wellness services, dietitian support and more.
Fitness equipment sales have boomed during the pandemic as shoppers turn away from gyms and focus on home workouts. Revenue from health and fitness equipment more than doubled between March and October last year, reaching $2.3 billion, according to NPD Group data cited by The Washington Post.
Selling treadmills, shoes, custom eyeglasses and other products promises to draw in new shoppers and build out baskets. It could also help Hy-Vee better compete against Walmart, whose one-stop supercenters are a major competitor to its stores.
But considering Hy-Vee’s core identity as a grocer, food shopping and flashy retail showrooms and services may not mix well. When online forum RetailWire asked experts to weigh in on Hy-Vee’s shop-within-a-shop partnership with shoe retailer DSW last spring, many said the tie-up didn’t make sense.
Hy-Vee will feature some of its latest services, including the fitness showrooms, at its flagship store opening next week in Grimes, Iowa. The new store is also slated to have the first hybrid eyewear kiosks with Pair Eyewear. Hy-Vee did not indicate the "several" other stores it will bring the fitness equipment showrooms to before the end of the year.