Hy-Vee 1st Grocer to Deploy Sterile Cart System
Hy-Vee Inc. is rolling an automated cleaning system that fully cleans and sanitizes shopping carts after each use. By mid-November, 200-plus Hy-Vee stores across the grocer’s eight-state market area will have a Sterile Cart system up and running. According to the company, it’s the first supermarket chain to introduce the system across its company.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been our desire to put Hy-Vee customers’ minds at ease with thorough sanitization measures,” said Hy-Vee Chairman, CEO and President Randy Edeker. “We are always looking at innovative ways to improve store operations, improve the shopping experience for customers, and, most importantly, ensure the health and safety of our customers and our employees.”
Manufactured by Buffalo, Minnesota-based IZZA Manufacturing, the system cleans several carts quickly and consistently, so store associates will no longer have to manually clean each cart throughout the day, as they’ve done since the beginning of the pandemic, along with providing sanitation wipes where customers get carts. Further, it cleans and sanitizes the entire cart, not only the handles and frequently touched areas. The system uses a low-pressure spray system and a dry-in-place disinfectant. It has a small footprint – just 6 feet by 4 feet – and can easily be installed where shopping carts are returned and staged for customer use.
“The Sterile Cart system uses a hospital-grade disinfectant that is proven to kill 99.9% of germs and viruses that cause illnesses, including coronavirus,” noted Kristin Davidson, of Mound, Minnesota-based Ultra Green Packaging, which distributes Sterile Cart. “The system ships fully assembled, takes up minimal space and sanitizes one to two carts per second. The Sterile Cart system provides peace of mind knowing that the carts are cleaned after every use.”
Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 265 retail stores across eight Midwestern states. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 33 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.