Hy-Vee is restructuring store-level management and ceasing 24-hour operation at most stores, moves that are expected to result in job cuts.
This week, Hy-Vee announced that some of its store directors will become district store directors, who will oversee several stores and mentor store managers. Also, some store directors will become store managers.
The West Des Moines, Iowa-based grocer, with more than 265 stores in eight Midwestern states, said the changes aim to bolster training and succession planning in the store management career path.
“The store manager position will help better prepare those who want to become store directors/district store directors in the future. The store manager will also have oversight of the day-to-day operations at his/her store,” Hy-Vee said in a statement. “This is part of our effort to remain the best place to build a career in retail and ensure all store directors have the training they need before being selected for the role.”
Going forward, some Hy-Vee locations may have both a store manager and a district store director, who has responsibility multiple stores, including daily operations, spokeswoman Christina Gayman said in an email. However, no stores will have both a store manager and a store director. Current store directors will continue to operate their individual stores.
When asked if the changes will lead to layoffs, Gayman said, “Stores are evaluating their staffing at this time.”
This month, Hy-Vee also began phasing out 24-hour operation at many stores. Plans reportedly call for most locations to be closed to shoppers between midnight and 5 a.m. The retailer said the move better reflects customer shopping habits and will improve its restocking processes.
“The decision to no longer remain open 24 hours a day and move our business hours to align with consumer shopping trends created an opportunity to reorganize both our overnight and daytime stocking procedures,” Hy-Vee explained. “This will make a difference to our customers, as the majority of our stocking will be done during times when customers are not shopping, helping to keep our aisles clear of clutter so customers can have a more pleasant shopping experience in our stores.”
At the same time, the curtailed shopping hours “allowed us to re-evaluate how we operate our stores so that we can become more efficient,” according to Hy-Vee.
“Because of this, store directors will be making staffing changes over the upcoming weeks — which could include promotions, reallocations or reductions — to reflect the needs of their individual store,” the company said.
In addition, Hy-Vee said 30 in-store dietitians will transfer to the corporate health and wellness team to support companywide programs. “We will still allow our store directors to implement their dietetic programs locally,” the retailer reported.
Hy-Vee noted that the moves are part of a recently launched corporate initiative dubbed Helpful Smile 2020, which the company said has a goal of “keeping Hy-Vee the best place to work and shop in America.”
“Today, the retail grocery industry continues to evolve and be incredibly competitive. Therefore, our local stores are making some changes to become more efficient while continuing to elevate our customers’ experience,” Hy-Vee stated. “We value our employees and customers and want to be the best place to work and shop. Our industry is continually evolving, which is why it’s imperative that we evolve with it.”