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    H-E-B to Spend $100M on Austin-area Stores

    Projects in Texas capital part of statewide expansion

    As part of a sweeping statewide expansion, San Antonio-based H-E-B plans to spend about $100 million to expand, remodel and relocate several of its stores in Texas’ capital city.

    It’s the supermarket chain’s largest-ever investment in Austin, President and COO Craig Boyan told the Austin American-Statesman. The grocer also expects to hire about 1,000 workers in central Texas this year, Boyan said. “Our business continues to be strong, and so this year, we’re making some huge investments in Texas,” he said.

    The projects include replacing a market on U.S. 183 with a 117,000-square-foot H-E-B Plus store near Austin’s Lakeline Mall late this year or in early 2013; expanding a store at in Cedar Park by 26,000 square feet; and building a new, 75,000-square-foot H-E-B later this year in the Mueller development. At least 10 other remodels are planned, the American-Statesman reported.

    H-E-B – which was Progressive Grocer’s 2010 Retailer of the Year – recently completed a $7 million remodeling project at its store at North Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane, adding 6,000 square feet and creating about 40 jobs, including a masa factory that grinds corn daily, a tortilleria, a Latino-focused butcher shop and a deli with fresh salsas and cremas.

    H-E-B continues to dominated the grocery market Central Texas, with 30-plus locations in the region among its 335 markets in Texas and Mexico.

    Meanwhile, Boyan said the company continues to cut prices across thousands of items and has launched a new campaign, “Compare our Prices to Anyone,” in its effort to help folks impacted by the struggling economy. The grocer is also launching a campaign this year aimed at encouraging customers to eat more plant-based foods.
     

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