Featured Retailer: Hy-Vee Drugstore
1520 S.W. 6th St., Cedar Rapids

Hy-Vee Drugstore Dedicated to Good Service, Sales, Having Fun

featured retailer A combination of strategic planning, dedicated employees and a tremendous local interest in lottery has propelled the Hy-Vee Drugstore, 1520 6th St. S.W. in Cedar Rapids to be a top 10 Iowa Lottery retailer for the last four years.

And a friendly greeting at the front of the store helps, too.

Rich Ripley, manager of health, wellness and home at the store, said, "The ease of being able to come in here – people can get in and out very quickly – they know our staff, our staff knows them."

Speaking of knowing their customers, about a year ago, Hy-Vee staff decided to place scratch tickets and pull-tabs on both sides of the store - one side is the drugstore and the other is Wine & Spirits. Iowa Lottery District Sales Representative Troy Montgomery said this makes it much more convenient for customers who request a lottery product at the Wine & Spirits counter when making a purchase there.

"It's the same customer; it's just made a little easier for them," Ripley said.

Montgomery chalks up the great sales in the store to careful planning and top-notch customer service: "They've just got an awesome staff of long-time employees.... They really hit it out of the park with their customer service ... they know the value of having a great lottery set-up - a great mix of games. They're patient with people, too. That's a big thing."

Other keys to lottery sales success at this location, Montgomery said, are use of social media and the store's outdoor digital sign.

"They change the sign up all year long," Montgomery said, citing the recent Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot runs where the sign showed jackpot amounts and encouraged people to get their tickets.

The store's use of social media began a few years ago, Ripley explained.

"We're a small store, we don't have an Asian Express or a bakery to go back and have a lot of fun with. Our store director said, 'Go out and have some fun with it.' We'd do screwy stuff just to get people's attention and then it kind of boiled down to a following."

Everyone's scratching for every dollar they can get these days and if we can just get on Facebook and have some fun with some people and remind them, 'Hey, you can get your scratch tickets here.' Or around the holiday, it's a great time for remembering your mailman, or your UPS guy, stocking stuffer, secret Santa. It's the gift that fits everybody,'" Ripley said.

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