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Hy-Vee announced yesterday that it is launching a new financial services business, powered by its Midwest Heritage bank subsidiary.

According to the announcement, "Customers across Hy-Vee’s eight-state region can now enroll in and apply for financial services, including checking and savings accounts, auto and home insurance, home mortgages, consumer loans and pet insurance. Additionally, Hy-Vee Fuel Saver + Perks and Hy-Vee Plus premium members can also access exclusive insurance services and additional savings on mortgage loans and pet insurance … Additional offerings such as life insurance policies, health insurance plans and more are expected to be added to Hy-Vee Financial Services within the year."

The announcement notes that "over the past several months, Hy-Vee and Midwest Heritage have installed contactless kiosks inside 210 Hy-Vee locations to allow a convenient spot for customers to access an overview of the offerings available through Hy-Vee Financial Services. Using the kiosks, customers can access QR codes to learn more about specific services on their mobile device or pick up brochures for more information."

"Customers are now seeking more affordable and more convenient financial options," said Hy-Vee's chairman-CEO-president Randy Edeker.  "By leveraging our ownership of our subsidiary Midwest Heritage, we are able to serve our customers in a new way that meets those needs."

KC's View:

One of the most important things retailers can do is find ways not just to be retailers, but to become as intertwined as possible in people's lives.  It allows them to become, to use a word much uttered during the past 18 months, essential.

That would appear to be Hy-Vee's approach here.  It makes sense as long as it does not take its eye off the retailing ball.