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Old 08-18-2007, 03:41 PM
 
8 posts, read 38,132 times
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We've been here just over a year (military family), and this is the first time we've lived anywhere that had only one grocery store (chain) other than Super Wal-Marts or Super Targets, so I'm just wondering what the history is behind the apparent HEB monopoly in the area.

Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2007, 03:51 PM
Rockin' The TriCities
 
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They simply outperformed every other chain when it came to the number of products they stocked and the prices. When Albertsons was here, it was common to see a display at HEB with two carts full of identical items, one with the HEB prices and one with the Albertsons prices. HEB was always quite a bit cheaper, they have locations absolutely everywhere, they are local, and I think they just all-around outperformed.

I remember another thread somewhere about this same topic - if you search, I bet it will pop up. Lots of good analysis in there about HEB's hegemony.

Albertsons gave up the ghost around 2002 and withdrew from South Texas.

You probably don't live in an area of town that has them, but there is a small chain called La Fiesta in predominantly Hispanic areas. Plus, there is Whole Foods and Sun Harvest.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:09 PM
 
8 posts, read 38,132 times
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Thank you! Yes, we live on the west side, which is obviously mostly new. We definitely enjoy HEB, but couldn't quite figure out why that was the only grocery store around.

I did a search on HEB, but I fear I didn't do the advanced search (just realized there was one), and so was overwhelmed with threads, but now that I've done the new search, I'm finding the threads to which you referred. Thanks again!

ETA: The prices here are much higher than where we were previously, so if Albertson's was indeed that much more expensive than HEB, I'm glad it's not Albertson's that's the last one standing, LOL.

Last edited by dogsandcats; 08-18-2007 at 04:12 PM.. Reason: Forgot something I was going to say!
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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Also, HEB is headquartered in San Antonio. The City supports its own.
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Old 08-18-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
79 posts, read 283,951 times
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There actually used to be several grocery chains in San Antonio. HEB, Handy Andy, Albertson's and Kroger were the major players in the city. Over the past 30 years the other chains struggled to compete with HEB, who dominates with an over 65% share of the market.

Handy Andy, once a formidable local competitor, struggled to compete with HEB and had a hard time keeping up to date with the current market trends. The chain was bought and sold several times and went through bankruptcy proceedings which both caused cash flow, labor and supply problems (that resulted in several store closures over the past 20 years). Today the chain is owned by The Grocers Supply Co., Inc. of Houston and operates about 10 stores, six of them in San Antonio.

Kroger stores pulled out of the San Antonio market. In June 1993 Kroger announced it would be closing all 15 of its San Antonio locations within 60 days. One of the reasons they cited for not being able to compete was the high cost of it's unionized workforce. They held a 13% share of the market at the time of their exit, the same as Albertsons. Both shared the title of second largest market share.

Albertsons also tried to compete with HEB but took a different approach. After Kroger's exit Albertsons aggressively expanded from 10 stores to 23 in San Antonio and at the same time entered into the Houston market with 43 stores to compete with the dominant Kroger and Randall's/Safeway chains there. The attempt did not work. Alberstons closed 3 San Antonio stores in 2001 and in 2002 pulled out of the San Antonio and Houston markets completely. Ironically Albertsons ended up selling several locations to HEB in San Antonio and both Randall's and Kroger in Houston. For example, the HEB in Linclon Heights was previously an Albertson's location. Albertsons left San Antonio with a 15% share of the market, second to HEB.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:01 PM
 
2,027 posts, read 6,361,513 times
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There are 20 Wal-Marts in the San Antonio area, all but 3 are supercenters. I believe there are a couple under construction or recently opened. They are still strong in the city. HEB's have been historically cleaner, more attractive, and offered much better customer service than others. That is how the get to be on top.
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Old 08-18-2007, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Western Bexar County
3,823 posts, read 13,367,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgannaway89 View Post
There are 20 Wal-Marts in the San Antonio area, all but 3 are supercenters. I believe there are a couple under construction or recently opened. They are still strong in the city. HEB's have been historically cleaner, more attractive, and offered much better customer service than others. That is how the get to be on top.
IMO, Walmart should stick to selling walls (Paris Hilton) and get out of the food business and HEB should stay only in the food business. Both of them do better in their "core" business practice.
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Highland Village
1,433 posts, read 3,525,864 times
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I like HEB but it is definitly more expensive then what we are used to. And we lived in a market that compares to San Antonio in almost every other thing. I spend about $50 more a week buying the same stuff I used to. It is clean, they are very friendly and helpful, and have a great selection....I just wish there was some more competition for business.
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Old 08-19-2007, 06:25 AM
 
4,796 posts, read 13,736,345 times
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There have been at least two other threads on this topic in the last 6 months......and very lengthy ones at that. Good pros and cons. I'm not good at the search feature here, but I'm sure someone could bring them to the front for you to read.
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
13,807 posts, read 26,340,699 times
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I like HEB, especially my HEB+ on Potranco. I shop there and the commisary and between them I get pretty good deals. I'm a walmart hater and have decided to never shop there again. Last time I was in one was March and it's been pretty easy to shop elsewhere.
I'm still waiting for the HEB+ on Potranco to shut the new walmart @ Potranco/1604 down. The HEB+ is always busy and I have yet to see the walmart parking lot at even 25% capacity

BTW, the person that mentioned HEB being HQ'd here in SA hit the nail on the head. They do a LOT for the community and the community supports them in return.
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