HEB is moving towards D-FW

This story is breaking down and will be updated.

HEB is finally bringing its namesake supermarkets to Dallas-Fort Worth.

The San Antonio-based grocer, who has been buying land in North Texas for more than 20 years, always said it was a question of when, not whether, he would expand here.

HEB said it will begin construction of two stores this summer in Frisco and Plano. They will open in the fall of 2022.

“We are excited to say that the time has come to bring our flagship HEB banner to Dallas-Fort Worth,” said Stephen Butt, president of the Dallas-based HE-B Central Market division.

  • The Frisco HEB store will be built at the northeast corner of Legacy Drive and Main Street on land the company purchased in 2016. The site is one mile east of Kroger on Main.
  • The Plano store will be on land that HEB has owned since 2012 at the southwest corner of Preston Road and Spring Creek Parkway. That location is about 5 miles from the company’s Central Market store in Plano.

The two stores will be about 9 miles apart, on either side of the Dallas North Tollway and surrounded by rooftops in Collin County, one of the fastest growing areas in the nation.

Butt declined to say how many stores he plans to open here beyond the first two.

The entry of HE-B will unleash a new level of competition at D-FW. The company ranks highly among both clients and industry performance. Walmart has the largest market share here, and all of the major national grocery chains have a significant presence in D-FW, from Kroger and Albertsons to Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, Target, Sam’s Club, Costco, Amazon and Whole. Foods Market.

Unlike its competitors, HEB is managed by Texans for Texans and has earned loyalty over the years as an employer, corporate citizen, and for the flavors it serves in prepared and frozen foods. Regularly add new private label products, including varieties of sauces and cheese. Their Texas-shaped tortilla chips are shipped to Texans across the country.

In 2020, HEB beat Trader Joe’s to become the top US grocer in data science firm dunnhumby’s annual retail preferences index. It was No. 2 this year when Amazon jumped to the top of the rankings during the pandemic.

Butt said that eventually all of the retailer’s banners will open stores in D-FW.

In addition to HEB and Central Market, the company owns the Mi Tienda chain and Joe V’s Smart Shop, a low-cost concept. Your Austin-based Favor delivery service also operates here.

Mi Tienda is HEB’s Hispanic concept store.(HEB)
Joe V's Smart Store is HEB's supermarket discount banner.
Joe V’s Smart Store is the flagship of HEB’s discount grocery stores.(HEB)

“North Texas is a very important market for our future growth, for all of HEB,” said Butt. “Our plan is to grow here with our multiple formats.”

The company brought its Central Market stores here first.

Central Market, a Dallas-based division, opened its first local store in Fort Worth in 2001 and now has six locations, including stores in Dallas, Plano and Southlake. The other Texas markets with Mercado Central stores only have one or two of the upscale specialty chain.

Butt said expanding the HEB brand here will not affect his plans for the Central Market. The company will reopen the tornado-damaged Preston Hollow Central Market on June 30 and said its plans for the stores in Uptown Dallas and Oak Cliff will continue to move forward.

“We have learned over time that customers use both formats. They love the fullness of a trip to our HEB food / drug stores and complete with special items at the Central Market, “said Butt. “We found that customers use both.”

Central Market in Dallas at Preston Road and Royal Lane will reopen on June 30.  It is rebuilding after a tornado damaged the store in 2019.
Central Market in Dallas at Preston Road and Royal Lane will reopen on June 30. It is rebuilding after a tornado damaged the store in 2019. (Lola Gomez)

D-FW is the largest market in Texas that does not have HEB stores in its neighborhoods.

The 116-year-old Texas supermarket has opened stores south and west of Fort Worth in Burleson, Cleburne and Granbury. Their newest store in the area opened in 2019 west of Fort Worth in Hudson Oaks.

A store in Waxahachie is 28 miles south of downtown Dallas, close enough for some devoted shoppers to make the trek.

The retailer believes it can make headway not only with people who already know HEB, but also with new transplants to Texas who have moved to the suburbs.

“We hear people asking all the time when we bring HEB to market. That recognition makes us proud, but there are many in D-FW who do not know us, “said Butt. “There are a lot of new residents in Plano and Frisco. And we will work hard to earn your respect and your business. “

While the brand is known in the grocery industry as a large regional Texas grocery chain, it is not yet everywhere in the state. HEB, which operates 420 stores primarily in central, south and west Texas and Mexico, does not operate in El Paso or the Panhandle. D-FW has the highest market potential.

Its entry into the Houston market was brutal for the rest of the grocery operators. HEB began opening stores in Houston in the early 2000s and within 10 to 12 years its market share was on par with Kroger and Walmart. By 2016, he catapulted himself over both operators and has been number one in Houston ever since.

A comprehensive announcement for HE-B employees will go out on Friday morning. A “strong team” has been assembled to work on the expansion, Butt said.

Stephen Butt, president of the Dallas-based HEB Central Market division, spoke to The Dallas Morning News on Friday at the company's rebuilt store after the October 2019 tornadoes in Dallas.
An HEB store is shown in San Antonio during the February storm.  Only about 40 of the 351 HEB stores in Texas were without power during that week.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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