- Hy-Vee has bought four former QuikTrip locations in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro area and plans to convert them to Fast & Fresh Express stores, according to a company press release. Renovations are already underway, and the stores will reopen March 20.
- The Fast & Fresh Express concept occupies convenience store-sized spaces but offers more than traditional convenience stores, including nori sushi, made-to-order foods, healthy snack options, fresh baked goods, wine and spirits and grab-and-go produce. It also includes fuel pumps.
- Hy-Vee already has several Fast & Fresh Express locations operating across Iowa. The "express" format is a smaller version of Hy-Vee’s Fast & Fresh concept, which launched in 2018.
Hy-Vee continues to lean into its Fast & Fresh Express concept with the purchase of the four former QuikTrip locations The Iowa-based grocer has been quickly increasing the format's store count throughout Iowa and the Midwest. A spokesperson told the Des Moines Register the company will rebrand 14 Hy-Vee Gas locations in the Des Moines metro area to Fast & Fresh Express stores. It is doing the same to locations in Kansas and Missouri as well. Eventually, the company said all 157 Hy-Vee Gas locations will become Fast & Fresh Express locations. In some cases these stores are adjacent to a full-size Hy-Vee grocery store.
Given the size of the QuikTrip stores, the express version of Fast & Fresh is a quicker way for Hy-Vee to revamp its offerings and meet customer demand for grab-and-go foods and healthy convenience. These small-format stores allow the retailer to open more locations in a concentrated area than its traditional store or full-size Fast & Fresh store.
Fast & Fresh Express is one of multiple formats the grocer is expanding — others include Dollar Fresh and HealthMarket — as it looks to differentiate from competitors.
Other retailers are also looking to improve the quality of convenience store offerings. In the Northeast, Alltown Fresh has opened two stores, with the newest location showcasing a 24/7 kitchen, organic juices and locally roasted coffee. The stores also include some grocery items. A 7-Eleven lab store in Dallas features a taqueria, beer on tap, organic slurpees and organic groceries.