retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Dallas Morning News reports that H-E-B, which has buying land in and around the Dallas market for years, finally will bring the banner to the area with two stores scheduled to open in  Frisco and Plano during the autumn of 2022.

According to the story, "The Plano store will be on land H-E-B 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, straddling the Dallas North Tollway and surrounded by rooftops in Collin County, one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation."

H-E-B already has six Central Market stores operating in the market, and Stephen Butt, president of H-E-B’s Central Market division based in Dallas, says that at some point all of the company's banners - including Mi Tienda and Joe V’s Smart Shop - will have a presence there.

The Dallas Morning News writes that "H-E-B’s entry will unleash a new level of competition in D-FW. The company ranks high both with customers and in industry performance. Walmart has the largest market share here, and all the major national grocery chains have significant footprints 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."

The story goes on:  "Unlike its competitors, H-E-B is run by Texans for Texans and has gained loyal followers over the years as an employer, as a corporate citizen and for the flavors it serves up in prepared and frozen foods. It regularly adds new private-label products, including varieties of salsas and queso. Its Texas-shaped tortilla chips are shipped to Texans scattered all over the country."

KC's View:

One thing seems clear - all those companies currently operating in the Dallas market have to start competing with H-E-B today - not in 18 months when those stores finally open.

I have to wonder if H-E-B has a unique opportunity here.  Even in a market where it doesn't have any stores under the H-E-B banner, it has one of the best retail brands anywhere, with enormously high recognition and approval.  While it is building those stores, H-E-B could use its proprietary e-commerce business, Favor, and the micro-fulfillment capabilities it is building out, to actually serve the Dallas market before it opens stores there.

I would think that at some level, H-E-B would be more capable than almost anyone at making this work - to prove that you don't need a fleet of stores to swamp the competition.