WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee Inc. in April reopened the 10 pharmacies it acquired in February from Weber & Judd, marking the end of that company’s 157-year history of dispensing drugs to customers in and around Rochester, Minn.
Nine of the locations were rechristened Hy-Vee HealthMarket Rx; the 10th is now called Hy-Vee Pharmacy.
“Combining Weber & Judd with our Hy-Vee Pharmacy family is a perfect match because we both pride ourselves on providing an excellent experience to our customers,” Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said when the deal was announced. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to provide this same personalized care for the Weber & Judd family of patients and communities.”
In addition to the Weber & Judd pharmacies, Hy-Vee this year picked up patient files from 22 Shopko pharmacies in 17 Midwestern cities, and acquired a half dozen Shopko pharmacies, in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. All six have since become Hy-Vee pharmacies.
Hy-Vee sees its pharmacies are destinations for vaccines, and not just flu and pneumonia shots, the company said, and whether through collaborative practice agreements or other means, Hy-Vee’s pharmacists are practicing at the top of their licenses by providing a wide array of immunizations for all ages.
Also this year, Hy-Vee unveiled its expanded discount medications list to assist customers with lowering their health care costs. The new list includes an increased number of cholesterol, diabetes, gastrointestinal, mental health, and women’s and men’s health medications — including commonly prescribed antibiotics — offered at discounted prices. Medications on the list are available to all patients, and there are no enrollment fees.
The rebranding of the former Weber & Judd pharmacies represents an extension of Hy-Vee’s HealthMarket concept, which originated as a store-within-a-store department within the company’s traditional supermarket base.
Last summer, the concept was extended into a stand-alone store envisioned by Hy-Vee executives as a one-stop shop for consumers looking to lead a healthy, more natural lifestyle.
Hy-Vee opened its first HealthMarket store in a fast-growing area in the Des Moines market, near an upscale shopping center and corporate campuses occupied by workers in the financial services and insurance sectors.
Hy-Vee executives emphasized that HealthMarket represents a chance for the retailer to experiment with ways to serve the growing segment of the customer base that is trying to be more selective about what they put into their bodies.
The inaugural 15,700-square-foot HealthMarket store combines several of the initiatives and partnerships Hy-Vee has undertaken in recent years to spur growth.
The store includes a hearing-aid department that has an audiologist on the premises to perform hearing tests and sell a private label line of hearing aids, called Capsure, developed for Hy-Vee.
Other in-store health services include a pharmacy, a clinic and dietary consultations with a Hy-Vee dietitian. Shoppers can directly enter a fitness studio operated by Orangetheory Fitness, a provider of group personal training sessions and interval fitness programs, and a Hy-Vee partner since 2017.
Hy-Vee has plans for two new HealthMarket stores, in the Kansas City area and Madison, Wis.