San Antonio-based H-E-B is putting more than $200 million into opening three new stores and remodeling several more in the growing South Austin, Texas, area. The grocer already operates 50 stores in Austin and around it, and the new projects expect to fall right in line with the company’s focus on delivering retail experiences that have a local focus and offer conveniences like curbside service.
Private brands will certainly serve shoppers, as store brands accounted for nearly a third of the retailer’s online sales last year, according to New York-based market researcher 1010Data. To support this, Jeff Thomas, H-E-B senior vice president and general manager of the central Texas region, said the new locations will be advancing innovative online services for time savings like H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery, offering “unprecedented home delivery.”
The three new store openings and renovations are said to bring more than 1,000 jobs to the area. Work on one new store is underway, while the other two are set to begin construction in 2020.
H-E-B said that the store on South Congress Avenue, its oldest in the city, will become "one of the company's most innovative stores," although with a two-year construction timeline, the doors won't open until 2022. It'll include a community gathering place, a food hall with indoor and outdoor dining spaces, the grocer's first-ever beer garden, two levels of underground parking, and tree-lined sidewalks to encourage walking and biking to the store.
The new Slaughter Lane and I-35 H-E-B is already under construction and will include a full-service pharmacy with drive-thru, H-E-B Curbside and Home Delivery, and a True Texas BBQ restaurant. The location is expected to open on March 27, while the grocer will close another store without those features that is roughly 2.5 miles away on April 2.
The Oak Hill community store will replace an existing location less than 2 miles away, opening in late 2020, and the Riverside H-E-B plus! is undergoing a major remodel to add more than 7,000 square feet with more ready-to-eat offerings and an increased H-E-B Curbside space. The Riverside remodel will be complete in early 2020.
“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 Thomas.
According to H-E-B, all of the new and remodeled stores will feature many conservation elements such as rainwater harvesting, water retention ponds, environmentally friendly refrigeration and solar panel installation.