The Iowa-based Hy-Vee supermarket chain will change the name of a subsidiary. Hy-Vee also operates Drug Town retail stores across the region, but Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer says the familiar signs will start coming down. Over the course of the next few months, she says the name will change on the chain’s 29 DrugTown stores, to HyVee Drugstore. Comer says it’ll better reflect the corporate ownership and identifies the store to customers with the HyVee brand. “Over the last few years, grocery stores have gotten into the pharmacy business in a big way,” she says. “Hy-Vee’s no exception to that trend.” The majority of the chain’s supermarkets have a pharmacy in them and she says that’s another part of the reason behind the Drug Town name change — to bring those stores under the HyVee “banner.” The stores and their products won’t change much, according to Comer. There are some private-label Drug Town products which she says will be phased out in favor of HyVee branded items. Part of the plan is to be able to share signs and advertising in communities where the stores will now be under the same “name banner.” Comer says the drugstore chain’s expected to expand in years to come, going againt the trend of “super” department stores that tout one-stop shopping. These are smaller stores that serve a particular neighborhood or part of town. The chain plans to open more, and promote them as a kind of neighborhood market. When Hy Vee opened its first drugstore in 1969, few foodstores had pharmacies, so the chain called them DrugTown stores. With 199 retail pharmacies in its chain today, HyVee is the nation’s 23rd largest pharmacy chain.
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