- Foot traffic at stores operated by Texas supermarket chain H-E-B was up 6.8% during the fourth quarter of 2022 compared with the same period in 2019, a level that was well above the overall performance of the state’s grocery industry, reports released last week by data analytics firm Placer.ai shows.
- H-E-B saw customer visits rise 0.9% during the quarter when compared with traffic levels during the fourth quarter of 2021 even as foot traffic across the Texas grocery sector as a whole dropped 1.5% by that measure.
- H-E-B’s success in drawing customers to its locations comes as grocers across the U.S. have seen the number of shoppers visiting their stores grow compared with the year before the pandemic began.
H-E-B has long benefited from its outsize popularity among grocery shoppers in the nation’s second-most populous state, and the statistics from Placer.ai underscore the chain’s strong ability to build lasting relationships with consumers.
The retailer — which opened five stores in 2022, including three on the same day in November — managed to increase foot traffic across its fleet during the final three months of 2022 at the same time as other grocery chains lost momentum, according to Placer.ai’s index report for the fourth quarter.
While H-E-B saw store visits rise, Publix and Safeway recorded declines in foot traffic of 4% and 4.6%, respectively, compared with the fourth quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, Kroger logged a quarterly decline in foot traffic of 6.3%, and Albertsons saw visits to its locations decline by 6.9%.
Among those chains, all but Kroger recorded higher foot traffic during the fourth quarter of 2022 than they did during the same period in 2019, according to Placer.ai.
Placer.ai noted that H-E-B’s success comes as Aldi has been especially successful in bringing shoppers into its stores. The discounter, which has more than 2,000 stores across the U.S., brought in 30.2% more shoppers during the last quarter of 2022 than it did during that period in 2019. Foot traffic at Aldi locations rose 6.8% in Q4 compared with 2021, as powerful grocery inflation drove shoppers to look for ways to keep a lid on spending.
Placer.ai’s findings suggest H-E-B could face pressure from Trader Joe’s in building connections with shoppers. While Trader Joe’s has far fewer locations in Texas than H-E-B, the chain has been especially successful lately in attracting shoppers in the state, the data shows. Trader Joe’s saw foot traffic in Q4 of 2022 grow 8.5% in Texas compared with the fourth quarter of 2021, and visits were up by double digits in Q2 and Q3 by the same measure.