How Good is H-E-B’s Strategy to Secure Market Share in Dallas?

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San Antonio-based grocery chain H-E-B is headed north. The beloved Texas grocer plans to open two stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth area by the Fall of 2022. Walmart and Kroger dominate the North Texas market. However, H-E-B will have to fight to break through this crowded area, including Whole Foods, Costco, and Target.

Voice of B2B, Daniel Litwin talked with Mark Hamstra, a freelance business writer at Supermarket News, a publication delivering research and editorial content aimed at executives in the food retail and grocery industry, on Marketscale TV about H-E-B’s plans.

H-E-B is known for its “Texas First” approach with its branding and its focus on putting local brands in its stores. The grocer has also created much goodwill for its community outreach efforts, most recently when it let customers leave with free food during the winter blackouts

“H-E-B, obviously, has a very strong presence and reputation in other markets in Texas,” Hamstra said. “They have a very deliberate expansion strategy.” He elaborated that H-E-B pays attention to where real estate is being built, and then they’ll go in and set up a presence. With houses going up in Frisco and Plano, they headed north.

H-E-B spent 2020 at the top of dunnhumby’s Retailer Preference Index, only to be bested by Amazon in 2021. Hamstra said it’s hard to top Amazon at the moment, especially over the past year. He thinks other attributes are what make H-E-B stand out and what makes consumers turn to their stores.

“Their assortment, their high level of service,” Hamstra said, “those are the kinds of things that have attracted consumers to traditional supermarkets for a long time.”

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