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Hy-Vee said Retail Zipline provides a centralized way to communicate with its 85,000-plus employees companwide.

Cloud platform gives Hy-Vee direct contact with employees during pandemic

Chain becomes first grocery retailer to use Retail Zipline communications solution

Hy-Vee has deployed the Retail Zipline platform companywide to directly communicate with its 85,000-plus employees and better coordinate its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said Monday its the first grocery chain to launch Zipline, described as a communication and execution tool for retailers. Using the cloud-based platform, Hy-Vee staff can access messages from company leaders and supervisors via a desktop or notebook computer or through a mobile app, which provides a centralized place to see everything that needs to be done in stores, the retailer explained.

For example, through Zipline, Hy-Vee can directly communicate and track execution of store protocols, health and safety guidelines, best practices and other tasks across its more than 265 stores in eight Midwestern states.

Hy-Vee noted that as coronavirus safety protocols shift daily, Zipline provides a consistent way to contact personnel chainwide. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began more than six weeks ago, the retailer has had to institute and expand cleaning practices throughtout its store base, modify store hours, implement social distancing measures, control shopper traffic, step up inventory replenishment and bolster employee safety, among myriad other efforts.

Hy-Vee cashier-face mask-coronavirusLast week, Hy-Vee began requiring all store associates to wear face coverings. (Photo courtesy of Hy-Vee)

"All of our employees play a crucial role in how we are responding to COVID-19, which is why it’s imperative we invest in them and provide them with the necessary resources to do their jobs in the best way possible,” according to Jessica Ringena, senior vice president of finance and business strategy at Hy-Vee. “Retail Zipline allows our corporate team to communicate with every single employee to make sure everyone receives the same message and executes new protocols or receives the latest company news in a timely fashion.”

Hy-Vee added that it plans to use the Zipline platform beyond the COVID-19 crisis as its primary communication method to ensure all stores are meeting company standards.

In line with the new partnership, Zipline is supporting Hy-Vee’s food bank campaign, which aims to raise $1 million across its market area by May 31. For every new Hy-Vee platform user that signs up during that time period, Zipline will donate $1 to the campaign, up to $25,000. Hy-Vee said it will match Zipline’s contribution dollar for dollar.

Other retailers and brands leveraging Zipline include Lush Cosmetics, BevMo!, Cole Haan, The Lego Group, TOMS, Torrid and Lumber Liquidators. More than 6,000 stores and 40,000 people use the platform worldwide.

“Our goal at Retail Zipline is to ease communication challenges for brands so employees in the field are safe and empowered to do their best work, which has never been more critical,” stated Melissa Wong, CEO and co-founder of Retail Zipline, based in San Francisco. “We are proud to partner with a company that’s passionate about the well-being of its employees as well as its local communities, which is why we’re committed to supporting Hy-Vee’s fundraising initiative to provide food to those in need.”

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