Hy-Vee Inc. is expanding its alcoholic offerings at its convenience stores.

The retailer is asking Des Moines’ Board of Adjustment to allow the sale of liquor at three gas station/convenience stores: 1113 East Army Post Road, 4701 Fleur Drive and 5801 Hickman Road.

The stores currently only sell wine and beer.

The Board of Adjustment is scheduled to vote on the requests at its July 24 meeting.

Hy-Vee must obtain a conditional use permit to expand its alcoholic beverage offerings. No more than 40% of the stores’ gross sales can be from the sale of  liquor, wine, beer and/or tobacco.

In 2011, Iowa loosened its law governing the sale of liquor at convenience stores. Previously, liquor sales had to be separate from other parts of the store and the area had to have its own entrance and cash register. At the time, state officials estimated the change in law would generate $2.5 million in additional revenue for Iowa.

Steve Larson, Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division administrator, in an email, wrote that the fastest growing area of licensing is convenience stores. Kum & Go and Casey’s sell liquor at many of their convenience stores, he wrote. 

According to the division’s annual report, 759 conveniences stores in Iowa had licenses to sell liquor in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018. That’s a nearly 15% increase from the 662 convenience stores that held Class E liquor licenses the previous year. 

Hy-Vee has 11 gas station/convenience stores in Polk and Dallas counties and the only one that currently sells liquor is in Waukee, Christina Gayman, a company spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

It’s up to individual store directors whether to sell liquor, she wrote.  

Gayman wrote that liquor is sold in 20 Hy-Vee convenience stores that operate in the seven states outside of Iowa in which the retailer is located.

“Hy-Vee focuses on the evolving lifestyles of our customers, and we continuously look for ways to provide our customers with the products and services that they want, when they want it,” Gayman wrote.