Hy-Vee is adding more benefits to its online grocery membership plan with the launch of the Hy-Vee Plus premium program.
The Midwestern grocer said Tuesday that Hy-Vee Plus retains the $99 annual fee and free grocery delivery of the previous Hy-Vee Aisles Online membership but also includes free Hy-Vee Aisles Online two-hour express pickup, a personal concierge service, exclusive deals and offers, and extra fuel savings.
Customers enrolled in the Hy-Vee Aisles Online membership program will automatically be upgraded to Hy-Vee Plus at no additional cost, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee said.
“After listening to the evolving needs of our customers, we designed our Hy-Vee Plus premium membership,” Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker said in a statement. “This membership is unlike any other program in the industry and blends our greatest services — both in-store and online — into an affordable experience that brings incredible value to our customers. Our membership offers additional savings on top of our already popular Fuel Saver + Perks program.”
Concierge services, including access to personal shoppers, are part of the Hy-Vee Plus benefits package. (Image courtesy of Hy-Vee)
Initial Hy-Vee Plus premium benefits, the retailer said, include free, unlimited online grocery delivery and pickup (a $9.95-per-order savings) and access to the Red Line concierge service, which enables members to consult Hy-Vee experts and personal shoppers via a designated telephone number.
Each month, Hy-Vee Plus members also receive special deals and offers across all areas of the store, as well as one free selected item. For example, in December, members get 20% discounts on DSW footwear, Joe Fresh apparel and in-store floral purchases plus a gift of a seasonal floral bouquet. In addition, every time members shop using their Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks card, they earn another three-cent Fuel Saver reward on each in-store or Hy-Vee Aisles Online purchase, on top of any Fuel Saver rewards they earn with the transaction.
Hy-Vee customers who currently use Aisles Online and don’t have a Plus membership can continue using the service as usual, since the premium program doesn’t change any of the service offerings or fees, the company said. They can enroll in Hy-Vee Plus online at hy-vee.com/plus or at their local Hy-Vee store. To become a member, customers must have an active Hy-Vee account. The retailer also is offering Hy-Vee Plus gift cards at all stores for customers who would like to give the membership as a gift this holiday season.
The Hy-Vee Plus launch reflects a recent trend of large grocer retailers serving up extra benefits to loyal customers and extend their e-commerce reach à la Amazon and its popular Prime benefits program.
For example, in March, Publix Super Markets launched Club Publix, a no-fee membership program that offers customers a bundle of digital shopping tools, advance notice of deals and discounts, exclusive savings, personalized content and other benefits. And in August, The Kroger Co. unveiled plans to go live with a digital marketplace of third-party sellers under a partnership with e-commerce provider Mirakl. Through the new service, Kroger is extending the assortment of its Ship direct-to-customer platform beyond groceries to a range of other categories, such as housewares and toys. Eligible Kroger.com orders also will be able to earn loyalty rewards, including fuel points.
In mid-September, Walmart launched Walmart+, a new membership program offering unlimited free delivery from stores, fuel discounts and an array of shopping tools for $98 per year or $12.95 a month. Kroger and Albertsons Cos. also offer annual membership for online grocery orders in selected markets, and SpartanNash’s Fast Lane e-grocery service enables users to pay $49 annually or $16.95 monthly for unlimited free pickup. And earlier this month, Ahold Delhaize said The Giant Company is slated to test a new subscription program in the 2021 first quarter with an annual membership fee of less than $100, more value offers and preferential delivery time slots.