This story is breaking and will be updated.
H-E-B is finally bringing its namesake supermarkets to Dallas-Fort Worth.
The San Antonio-based grocer, which has been buying land in North Texas for more than 20 years, always said it was a matter of when, not if, it would expand here.
H-E-B said it will break ground on two stores this summer in Frisco and Plano. They will open in fall 2022.
“We’re excited to say that the time has come for us to bring our flagship H-E-B banner to Dallas-Fort Worth,” said Stephen Butt, president of H-E-B’s Central Market division based in Dallas.
- The Frisco H-E-B store will be built on the northeast corner of Legacy Drive and Main Street on land the company bought in 2016. The site is a mile east of a Kroger on Main.
- 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.
Butt declined to say how many stores it plans to open here beyond the first two.
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.
“This latest push into D-FW signals that H-E-B’s intent is to emerge from the pandemic as a long-term winner,” said Pam Goodfellow, director of retail insights at Kantar. Grocery at large did well during the pandemic, she said, but in the next couple of years ,“we are going to see the truly strong competitors separate from the weak as they jockey for lasting food-at-home dollars.”
Unlike its competitors, H-E-B is run by Texans for Texans and has gained loyalty over the years as an employer, 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.
In 2020, H-E-B moved ahead of Trader Joe’s to become the top U.S. grocer in the annual Retail Preference Index from data science firm dunnhumby. It was No. 2 this year as Amazon jumped to the top of the ranking during the pandemic.
Butt said that eventually all the retailer’s banners will open stores in D-FW.
In addition to H-E-B and Central Market, the company owns the Mi Tienda chain and Joe V’s Smart Shop, a low-cost concept. Its Austin-based Favor delivery service also operates here.