WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee launched “Hy-Vee Mobile” this month, a store-brand cell phone service that allows customers to buy prepaid cell phones and minutes at Hy-Vee stores.
Phones and plan cards with prepaid minutes are being provided by Austin, Texas-based Fusion Mobile, which also supplies San Antonio-based H.E. Butt Grocery Co.'s “H-E-B Mobile” Service.
“Fusion approached us. We like that they were tied to a national network and provided phone features that some others in the industry don't have,” Hy-Vee spokeswoman Christine Friesleben told SN. Fusion buys minutes through the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network.
Plans run from $20 to $125 per month, and all accounts will come with free features such as text messaging, voice mail, caller ID and three-way calling.
Additionally, customers may purchase phones that can send three Picturemails for 18 cents a day, browse the Web for 20 cents a day and be walkie-talkie-capable for 50 cents per day. Calls to Mexico are as low as 2.5 cents per minute. The Hy-Vee phones are priced from $50 to $200.
Hy-Vee is promoting with advertising, in-store signage, Web content and in-store television, Friesleben said. As for merchandising, it will be up to individual store directors to determine the best location for the Hy-Vee Mobile display, she said.