- H-E-B has revealed preliminary plans for a second technology center, to be located at the company’s San Antonio headquarters, the company announced in a press release.
- Construction on the tech facility will start next summer, with the opening estimated by summer 2022. H-E-B said it will add about 500 new jobs and move hundreds of existing employees to the new center upon completion.
- The building is expected to be five stories tall and span 150,000 square feet. H-E-B’s current digital team consists of about 1,000 team members in San Antonio and several hundred at the company’s East Austin tech hub, which opened earlier this summer.
Supermarkets are not known for drawing top tech talent, but H-E-B wants to buck this trend by building attractive, top-of-the-line centers in places where workers want to live. Although San Antonio's tech pool isn't as deep as Austin's, it's expanding rapidly, and the grocer clearly wants to tap into that growth.
The features at H-E-B's new facility will include a variety of collaborative workspaces and meeting rooms, advanced technology and videoconferencing capabilities. Positions housed there will include software engineers, mobile app developers and product designers, chief digital officer Jag Bath told the Rivard Report.
Shoppers at H-E-B are arguably some of the most loyal customers of any grocery chain, and the company sees them as increasingly tech-savvy, too. Ranked the top retailer in Texas in 2018, H-E-B is hard at work using digital capabilities to enhance shopper experience not only online, but in stores. The company’s curbside and home delivery services will expand to more than 200 locations by the end of the year. It also continues to pilot H-E-B Go, its scan-and-go checkout solution, at seven stores in Austin.
H-E-B is a clear digital leader among grocers in Texas where it boasts a 60% share of the grocery market. But the company still faces stiff competition in the region from chains like Walmart, which is pursuing e-commerce with ferocity. The two companies have gone head-to-head for years, and the competition will only intensify as Walmart doubles down on grocery and competes for some of the same tech talent as H-E-B.