Will H-E-B conquer Dallas-Fort Worth?
H-E-B, after years of purchasing land in the area, announced plans to open its first flagship stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The first two stores in Frisco and Plano will open in fall 2022.
The dominant grocer in South Texas entered Houston in 2003 and battled Kroger, Walmart and others to become the market leader by 2016. In D-FW, the more-diversified competition includes Walmart, the market leader, as well as Costco, Kroger, Albertsons, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods, Target, Dollar General and Sprouts Farmers Market.
While the H-E-B eponymous banner may be new to the market, the grocer has had a presence in D-FW since 2001 with six of its Central Market upscale specialty concept stores. Larger H-E-B locations serve communities in surrounding areas and its Favor delivery service operates in D-FW.
H-E-B is expected to strongly benefit from its local roots as one of the largest privately held companies in the state, with 420 stores across Texas and Mexico. The retailer is known for its strong private label lineup, including its Texas-shaped tortillas, as well as local products, loyal employee base and community support.
“It is a Texas-based company, and Texans are always Texas first before they’re anything else,” Craig Rosenblum, a Dallas resident and VP at Inmar Intelligence, told San Antonio Express News.
H-E-B is also known for its competitive pricing, innovative layouts and friendly employees.
In 2019, H-E-B moved ahead of Trader Joe’s to become the top U.S. grocer in dunnhumby’s annual Retail Preference Index. At the time, dunnhumby traced H-E-B’s progress to a “sustained focus and excellence on assortment relevance and private brand.”
In 2020, Amazon topped dunnhumby’s rankings due to its importance during COVID-19, but H-E-B came in second.
Pam Goodfellow, director of retail insights at Kantar, told The Dallas Morning News, “This latest push into D-FW signals that H-E-B’s intent is to emerge from the pandemic as a long-term winner.”
- H-E-B announces expansion into DFW Metroplex – H-E-B
- The grocery war is on: H-E-B is making its move into D-FW – The Dallas Morning News
- San Antonio-based H-E-B plans to open the stores in 2022 – San Antonio Express News
- H-E-B Dethrones Trader Joe’s as Top U.S. Grocery Retailer in the 2020 dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index – dunnhumby/Business Wire
- Covid-19 Propels Amazon to Top U.S. Grocery Retailer for the 2021 dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index – dunnhumby/Business Wire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you think H-E-B will fare in the Dallas-Fort Worth market? What advice would you have for H-E-B as well as their soon-to-be D-FW competitors?