- Grocer Hy-Vee has started offering financial services, including checking and savings accounts; car, home and pet insurance; and home and consumer loans through a program launched in conjunction with Midwest Heritage, a bank owned by the grocery chain, according to a Thursday press release.
- The offering, branded as Hy-Vee Financial Services, also offers savings on mortgage and pet insurance to members of the supermarket chain's Fuel Saver + Perks and Hy-Vee Plus loyalty programs.
- Hy-Vee has worked over the past year to expand the range of services it offers shoppers as it looks to deepen its connections with its customer base.
Hy-Vee is using the new program to directly link financial products to grocery shopping. For example, the retailer is offering members of the Hy-Vee Plus program a $700 gift card if they get a mortgage through Hy-Vee Financial Services.
To promote the effort, Hy-Vee and Midwest Heritage have installed kiosks in recent months inside 210 of the retailer's more than 275 stores, where customers can learn about the available services by scanning a QR code, Hy-Vee said in its press release. Six of Midwest Heritage's eight branches are located in stores operated by Hy-Vee — one in Kansas, and the rest in Iowa.
Hy-Vee plans to add life insurance, health insurance and other options this year to the range of services it offers through the program.
The grocery chain's foray into financial services follows the November launch of an expanded membership program that provides shoppers with benefits like free delivery and concierge services for a $99 annual fee.
Other food retailers have also offered their customers access to financial products, with Kroger, in particular, posting double-digit profit growth in its personal finance unit in this year's first quarter. The grocer's personal finance business provides home equity lines of credit, life insurance, pet insurance and other offerings.
Hy-Vee's program stands out because it involves a bank owned by the grocer. Mid-Atlantic grocer Giant Food hosts branches run by PNC Bank in 82 of the chain's 164 locations, while supermarkets operated by Safeway host SunTrust branches. Walmart offers financial services including checking accounts, credit cards and reloadable debit cards through Green Dot Bank.
The financial services program is the latest effort by the grocer to expand its range of services for customers. Some Hy-Vee locations also contain DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse shops, in addition to selling footwear online in partnership with DSW's parent company, Designer Brands. The grocer teamed up with The W Nail Bar to open in-store nail salons in March.