Columbia's third Hy-Vee to open Tuesday

Friday, April 9, 2010 | 4:46 p.m. CDT; updated 5:53 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 12, 2010

COLUMBIA — Des Moines-based grocer Hy-Vee will open its third Columbia location Tuesday at 25 Conley Road, near the intersection of U.S. 63 and East Broadway. 

The store's management has finished its hiring and plans to open with 415 employees, Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer said. With this third store, Hy-Vee's total Columbia employment will exceed 1,200 employees.

Hy-Vee opened its first Columbia branch on West Broadway in 2001, and it is annually one of the most popular nationwide for the company, Comer said.

The first store was so popular that Hy-Vee decided to open up two more, Comer said.

"But we're patient," Comer said. "We're willing to wait for the right site."

The two most recent sites became available at the same time, which is why the two newest Hy-Vee stores are opening within six months of each other.

All three sites are close to competitors, but Comer says that is not necessarily planned that way. Different grocery stores look at a lot of the same factors when choosing land, she said, such as proximity to residential areas and surrounding businesses.

Hy-Vee's CEO Ric Jurgens will visit the new site, as he does with every new store, to speak to the new employees. Store Director Brent Heinz and other Hy-Vee officials will speak as well.

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