F&F, a temporary “pop-up store” set up outside Hy-Vee, is selling clothing, mostly women’s and children’s, until Oct. 3. The converted store is traveling between Hy-Vee locations throughout the state.
F&F, a temporary “pop-up store” set up outside Hy-Vee, is selling clothing, mostly women’s and children’s, until Oct. 3. The converted store is traveling between Hy-Vee locations throughout the state.

September 27, 2017

For the next week, after running into Hy-Vee for dark chocolate, acorn squash and wine — or baby formula, or a six-pack of Bud — you can cross the parking lot and grab a cute new outfit as well.

In its most recent stab at being a one-stop shop, Hy-Vee has set up a boutique-style store selling women’s and children’s clothing in a converted storage trailer in the parking lot just north of the store.

They call it a “pop-up store” — and it’s in Carroll only until Tuesday.

The internationally inspired clothing is fashionable — and affordable, Hy-Vee employees said.

“We’ve gotten very positive reactions to it,” Carroll Hy-Vee Store Director Brad Auge said. “It’s something different. On the outside, it looks like a storage container, and when you get inside, it’s like a small boutique.”

The store spends two weeks at each Hy-Vee location, allowing employees to determine if the concept might work longer term at that location. The store will be available at Carroll’s Hy-Vee until Oct. 3. It is open every day from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

“It’s a different concept,” Auge said. “We always want to be known as a one-stop shop, and it gives people an opportunity to see some different things they don’t always get to see.”

The clothing line has been incorporated into several Hy-Vee locations; stores in Ankeny and Des Moines and in Minnesota have permanent F&F lines, while the pop-up stores, a relatively new concept, are being tested in more rural areas, Auge said. Carroll’s pop-up store traveled to Carroll from Estherville and should head to Marshalltown next.

Local Hy-Vee employees staff the pop-up store, and sales support each local Hy-Vee location, Auge said. The inventory changes every few days.

In addition to throughout the United States — at Hy-Vee locations and elsewhere — F&F has stores in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the United Kingdom.

Carly Pedelty, Carroll Hy-Vee’s social media specialist, often runs the store and already has bought and tried out several pieces of clothing — and it holds up after washing, she said.

“It’s pretty fashion-forward,” she said. “When I first heard about it coming, I thought it’d be over-the-top expensive, because they were saying it’s a European brand and when I think European, I think expensive, but it’s actually extremely affordable.”

Kids’ shirts, leggings and dresses are available from $9.99, with some women’s shirts, leggings, jeans and dresses in the $11.99-$35.99 range and blazers and coats in the $60 range. Some items, including summer clothing, are on clearance at the store right now.

Kids’ clothing sizes range from 12-24 months to 14-16, and women’s sizes range from 2 to 18, Pedelty said.

Most clothing items list their European size in addition to the U.S. size, but store employees are able to help shoppers make sense of the sizing if needed. The store also includes a fitting room.

“You have to see it to understand how fun and exciting it is,” Pedelty said. “People judge the book by its cover and think it’s so expensive, and it’s not at all. I’m having so much fun working in there.

“Come in — you can’t really appreciate it till you walk through the doors.”