Inside This Issue - News
H.E.B. tests format as Aldi enters Texas
May 17th, 2010
DALLAS – No-frills supermarket chain Aldi opened nine stores in this market last month, while H.E. Butt Grocery Co. (H.E.B.) debuted its own limited-assortment store in Houston.
“As important as price is, there’s only one way to attract and keep customers — we have to have high-quality products,” says Aldi vice president Scott Huska.
“Customers would not keep coming back, and our expansion into Texas would not be possible, without our exceptional, award-winning products offered at everyday-low prices.”
A total of 27 Aldi units in northern Texas are slated to have opened by summer. With its presence in the Lone Star state, the company has some 1,100 stores in 31 states.
The new H.E.B. format, called Joe V’s Smart Shop, was unveiled in northwest Houston in May.
Resembling a warehouse from the outside and smaller than a full-size H.E.B. supermarket, the store has about 9,000 SKUs, compared with a conventional outlet’s 37,000.
It features an iCash automated cash register that employees do not have to set up and balance. The store also cuts labor costs by having groceries delivered to store aisles by pallet jacks.
Aldi, which has been adding about 100 stores a year in the United States thanks in part to its debt-free balance sheet, has no plans to enter Houston this year, according to a company spokeswoman, but is always seeking expansion opportunities.