San Antonio-based H-E-B this week opened its fifth e-commerce fulfillment center as it works to expand its booming curbside and home-delivery business.
The 50,000-square-foot facility in Leander, in a rapidly growing area of Central Texas, will ease in-store congestion created by digital-order fulfillment while enhancing efficiency of e-commerce fulfillment, the company said.
The new facility, like the four previously opened centers, relies on automation to speed the order fulfillment process.
“Across our business, we are adopting innovative technologies that give our partners the tools they need to provide top-quality service to our customers, whether they shop online or in our stores,” H-E-B VP of e-Commerce Kedar Patel said in a statement.
H-E-B opened its first e-commerce fulfillment center in 2018. By the end of 2023, it is planning to launch more locations across the state, including in Plano as the grocer expands into the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the company said.
H-E-B has two grocery stores in Leander, with the second one opening late in 2021.
In May, H-E-B opened a Wellness Primary Care clinic inside one of the Leander stores, one of two such clinics in Central Texas.
H-E-B has more than 420 stores in Texas and Mexico. Curbside and home delivery is available at the chain’s more than 260 locations in Texas.
“These facilities allow for more capacity, greater efficiency, less aisle congestion for the in-store shopper and better product availability,” the chain said of its fulfillment centers.
H-E-B’s e-commerce investments appear to be paying off with consumers.
The retailer’s easy-to-use app, convenient delivery options and successful substitutions propelled it to the top of dunnhumby’s first-ever e-Commerce Retailer Preference Index last month.
H-E-B beat out other e-commerce players in the survey, including Amazon and Kroger, in terms of ease of use, reliability and emotional connection with customers, according to the consumer data firm’s study of the $100 billion U.S. online grocery market.
H-E-B, WGB’s 2020 Grocery Business of the Year, also ranked as the best e-commerce value proposition, the survey found.