WATERLOO — A grocery store with a presence on University Avenue in Waterloo for decades is closing its doors at the end of next month.
The University Avenue Hy-Vee, at 4000 University Ave., will close March 31, company officials announced Monday.
The store’s 282 employees, both part- and full-time, “will have the opportunity to transition to positions at other Hy-Vee stores in the area,” according to the corporate news release.
Darren Baty, executive vice president of Hy-Vee’s northern region, said the decision was made due to a history of poor sales and because the store “no longer reflects the current brand standard and amenities Hy-Vee strives to offer customers.”
“The University Hy-Vee has served as a neighborhood store for many nearby residents for a number of years, and we understand it will be missed by its customers,” Baty said. “It’s always difficult when we make store adjustments, but we must keep pace with customers’ shopping behaviors and meet their needs through excellent customer service and more modern amenities.”
“Hy-Vee remains committed to the Waterloo community,” said Baty. “We have continued to invest and improve our other area stores through remodeling projects that include the addition of coffee shops, food courts and in-store restaurants.”
University Avenue Hy-Vee assistant director of store operations Matt Nelson referred all questions to corporate officials.
Employees were notified Monday morning, the company said. Pharmacy customers will receive a letter, and most prescriptions will be transferred to the Hy-Vee on Ansborough Avenue.
Hy-Vee opened on University Avenue in 1977. It originally occupied about 23,00 square feet of the former Kmart building at 3810 University. The company built the current 64,000 square foot free-standing store on the former Starlite Drive-In Theatre site in 1992-93, along with the construction of a new store near Crossroads Center.
There will remain three Hy-Vees in Waterloo, one in Cedar Falls and one in Waverly. The company built a new store on Ansborough Avenue in 2011, closing a smaller store on Byron Avenue. The Ansborough store is just three miles from the store that will close.
In 2006 the company relocated its store at College Square on University Avenue in Cedar Falls, moving from a 60,000 square foot building to 80,000 square feet in the new store on the west end of the mall. That store is just two miles from the Waterloo University Avenue store.
The company’s first local store was opened in Cedar Falls in 1964, with the first Waterloo store opening in 1969.
The supermarket chain has more than 245 stores across eight Midwestern states. Its headquarters are in West Des Moines.