H-E-B to make big investment in south Austin stores

David Salazar
Managing Editor
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H-E-B is investing in growing its footprint in south Austin, announcing a $200 million investment that will bring three new stores to the area and remodel an existing location. The company said it’s expecting to create more than 1,000 jobs with the effort. H-E-B also will be closing one of its stores in the area.

“This level of investment has been years in the making, and we are incredibly excited to deliver fresh, new stores to this growing community,” said Jeff Thomas, H-E-B Senior Vice President and General Manager, Central Texas Region. “Next year, we will showcase an unprecedented investment in new stores across the greater Austin area, especially in South Austin where our customers will soon be receiving the best and most advanced shopping experience H-E-B has to offer. In addition to advancing innovative online services for time savings like H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery, H-E-B continues to invest heavily in our in-store shopping experience to offer the best selection and services in both avenues.”

Some of the projects for the area are being planned, but a new 130.000-sq.-ft. location that includes a full-service pharmacy with a drive-through, as well as curbside pickup and home delivery services. It also will include a True Texas BBQ family restaurant, which will feature a drive-through, a beer and wine bar and outdoor seating with a children’s play area. The store is set to open March 27, 2020.

Additionally, the Riverside-area H-E-B plus! Is being remodeled to add 7,000 sq. ft. and grow its ready-to-eat offerings with larger Meal Simple and sushi departments, plus an augmented H-E-B Curbside offering — all of which is slated for completion in early 2020.

As it invests in the area with remodels and new stores, H-E-B is closing a smaller store that it said is aging and lacks such departments and services as pharmacy, Meal Simple and H-E-B curbside. It also is near two other stores, including the one currently being built. The company said employees of the store, which will close April 2, 2020 when the new location opens, will be offered positions and support in area stores. H-E-B said it would be offering free bus passes for customers in need of transportation assistance, as well as free curbside and home delivery services in the 78745 area code through March and April.

The company also is set to build two stores beginning in January, one of which replace an existing Oak Hill location and be built on the 30 acres H-E-B owns on the corner of U.S. Highway 290 and FM 1826. Additionally, H-E-B is planning to start work on turning its oldest location on South Congress into an innovative space, with plans to open it in 2022. As the project goes on, it will open a temporary store in February 2020 and close the existing store on March 22, 2020.

“Part of their advantage is being so Texas-identified in a way that customers really relate to,” Jon Springer, executive editor of Winsight Grocery Business, an industry trade publication, told the Austin American-Statesman. “It’s one thing to be a local guy. But with H-E-B, it’s not just a slogan, it’s really the way they do business. For shoppers, that matters and that very much sets them apart.”