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Texas Retail: Beyond numbers

heb store

While dollar stores may have many locations, they aren’t necessarily the most popular places to shop, according to research firm Wisevoter, which ranked grocery chains based on foot traffic.

The top five in Texas were H-E-B, Kroger, Aldi, Albertsons, and Trader Joe’s.

Perhaps due to the pandemic, when many consumers chose to cook and eat at home, Wisevoter also found that grocery stores overall saw a 2.9-percent increase in foot traffic in 2022 compared to the previous year.

In a recent report by consumer research firm dunnhumby, H-E-B earned high honors. The San Antonio-based company was declared the top grocery retailer in Texas and listed it as second in the United States.

Dunnhumby’s Annual Retailer Preference Index Report evaluated more than 60 grocery retailers and surveyed 7,500 consumers to get their thoughts and feelings about the U.S. grocery industry.

The top spot went to H-E-B “due to sustained focus and excellence on assortment, relevance, and private brand,” according to the study. In the event of an economic downturn, H-E-B also was ranked at the top of the list for “most recession-proof grocers.”

Jose Gomes, dunnhumby’s managing director of North America, told the Houston Chronicle, “H-E-B proves that if you get the basics right and execute them well, you can have a strong value proposition. They’re good at value and price perception, and people love them.”

The retailer reports more than $32 billion in annual sales and is the largest privately held employer in Texas. It has more than 145,000 employees and more than 420 stores in Texas and Mexico.

While H-E-B apparently is doing many things right, it also owes its devoted consumer following in the state to its long-standing roots as a homegrown business. The company was founded in 1905 as a small, family-owned store in Kerrville in the Texas Hill Country.

It’s certainly come a long way since then, but H-E-B and other grocery retailers are not resting on their laurels, they’re continuing to expand and improve facilities.

This is an excerpt from the Texas supplement in the March/April 2023 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole supplement.