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Hy-Vee officials said Friday that its stores will waive the usual service fees, which range from one to several dollars, for customers cashing their economic stimulus checks, and that it would not require purchases.
"We know many of our customers are feeling pinched right now," said Ric Jurgens, c.e.o. for the Des Moines, Iowa chain. "They need every break they can get when it comes to stretching their dollars."
Hy-Vee said it is already helping shoppers save money in other ways, such as through its "temporary price decline" items and weekly menus with recipes that are both economical and healthy.
Jurgens also said he hoped shoppers would take advantage of the company's in-store dietitians to help them meet their nutritional needs. The dietitians who develop the weekly menus use ingredients that are on sale that week, which also saves money, or example.
"It's important that people continue to focus on a healthy diet in tough economic times," he said. "We have over 125 experts in our stores who can show people how to eat well, even if they're on a shoestring budget."
Some shoppers are also choosing more private label items over brand name products, Hy-Vee said.
Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 224 retail stores in seven Midwest states. For 2007, the grocer recorded total sales of $5.6 billion, ranking it among the top 30 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States.