Hy-Vee plans to deliver alcohol to doorsteps in Omaha and Lincoln as it seeks to expand its grocery delivery service by opening a new fulfillment center in Sarpy County.
A representative from the Des Moines-based grocery store chain appeared before the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission on Wednesday to present Hy-Vee’s plan and begin the process of crafting a memorandum of understanding.
The chain is hoping to agree to guidelines with the commission before the facility opens in June, Hy-Vee spokeswoman Tina Potthoff said. If approved, any customer who is currently able to have groceries delivered in the Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs areas will also be able to order alcohol.
Commission Executive Director Hobert Rupe said alcohol delivery in Nebraska is legal, though not widely used, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
The fulfillment center will be at 11651 S. 154th St., southeast of the Interstate 80 and Highway 370 interchange. The facility, which will not be open to the public for shopping, is currently hiring for about 500 positions. The company has posted job openings at the facility on its website.
As it currently exists, Hy-Vee’s same-day grocery delivery service, Aisles Online, does not deliver alcohol. Employees at participating stores pull items from their shelves or stock rooms and either deliver groceries or make them available for in-store pickup.
The new facility will centralize that. All Aisles Online orders will be processed at the fulfillment center, just like Amazon might package goods for delivery. Then workers at the facility will deliver groceries to a customer’s house or their home store for pickup, largely removing individual store employees from the equation.
The chain has opened a similar fulfillment center in Des Moines within the past two years, and it delivers alcohol.