Hy-Vee will close all of its four online fulfillment centers, including one in Minnesota, later this month.
The four centers for the West Des Moines-based supermarket chain are located in Eagan, Des Moines, Omaha and Kansas City, Mo.
More than 300 employees could lose their jobs at the Eagan plant, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification issued Monday.
Some of the other locations have more than 500 employees. Hy-Vee executives didn't provide an exact number of employees who may be offered other work in the company. For those who do not find other work within Hy-Vee, their last day will be May 6.
"Our customers want a full assortment of products, personalized shoppers and same-day pick up at the store, which we are unable to fully provide when we process orders at a fulfillment center," said Hy-Vee spokeswoman Christina Gayman in a statement. Operations will be transferred to the retail stores later this month so that customers' online orders will now be filled at local Hy-Vees.
Hy-Vee's online ordering system called Aisles Online was launched in 2015. The Eagan, Omaha and Kansas City centers opened last year. The Eagan facility was about 90,000 square feet.
About a year ago, Hy-Vee dropped plans for a distribution center in Austin, Minn., to focus on online ordering. Consumers can also use delivery services from Instacart and Shipt for Hy-Vee orders.
Other retail chains such as Albertsons, ShopRite, Loblaws and Amazon's new grocery-store chain are switching to micro-fulfillment models, which fill online orders from existing store locations, according to trade publication Progressive Grocer.
In another sign that Hy-Vee is shifting gears, its 74,000-square-foot Spring Lake Park store that was to open this spring will now open in the fall. A new store in Blaine that was making a debut in 2021 is now in a "no update" status, according to Gayman.
New stores in Columbia Heights, a second location in Maple Grove on 101st Avenue, Chaska, Farmington and West St. Paul also have no updates. A Wahlburgers restaurant in a franchise partnership with the Wahlberg brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul opened in February in Maple Grove.
Hy-Vee operates more than 260 stores in eight Midwestern states, including 11 in the Twin Cities.