After a pause in 2020, Hy-Vee will open two full-line stores in the Twin Cities this year in Maplewood and Spring Lake Park.
The Spring Lake Park location that was scheduled to open in late 2019 will open this spring. The exterior shell of the 75,000-square-foot building at 8155 NE. Hwy. 65 was completed last year but has sat vacant. The Fast & Fresh convenience store and fuel station in front of the main store opened in 2019.
Hy-Vee entered the Twin Cities market in 2015 with a plan of opening four stores per year. In 2017, the West Des Moines-based grocer began pumping the brakes on building large stores as consumers began discovering online shopping.
It typically adds new features with each store opening. The Spring Lake Park location was too far along in construction to add several drive-through lanes for curbside pickup. The feature inspired by the pandemic was added to a new store under construction in Grimes, Iowa.
Instead, it may add a large canopy covering nearly a dozen parking spaces on the building's north side for curbside pickup. Hy-Vee also will add a canopy on the south side of the building for the drive-through pharmacy.
Hy-Vee spokeswoman Christina Gayman said more features in the new stores will be announced later.
The new store at 2501 White Bear Av. in Maplewood's Maple Ridge Center will take over the space filled by Rainbow Foods since 1986. When Milwaukee-based Roundy's exited the Twin Cities in 2014, it sold 18 of 27 Twin Cities stores to a consortium led by Supervalu.
The wholesaler and owner of Cub Foods, purchased by UNFI in 2018, kept the Rainbow name at the Maplewood store until closing it in 2018.
Now under Hy-Vee's banner, it is expected to open late spring or early summer. A Fast & Fresh convenience store in front of the store will open this month. The Hy-Vee Wine & Spirits store in the same strip mall opened in December. The Spring Lake Park location will also include a liquor store.
Cub still operates a full-line store in Maplewood, a block away at 2390 White Bear Av.
This is the second time that Hy-Vee has taken over former Cub or Rainbow locations. In 2018, Hy-Vee rebranded the site at 16705 County Road 24 in Plymouth that was a Rainbow until Cub's parent company purchased it and renamed it.
The last full-line supermarket that Hy-Vee opened in Minnesota was in St. Peter last August. The grocer has 16 additional full-line locations in greater Minnesota along with 11 full-line stores and 10 Fast & Fresh convenience stores in the Twin Cities. Throughout the Midwest, Hy-Vee owns 277 stores in eight states.
Gayman offered no updates on proposed Hy-Vee stores in Blaine, Columbia Heights, Chaska, Farmington, West St. Paul or a second location in Maple Grove.
John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633