- H-E-B has opened its first branded merchandise in-store display at a store in Kerrville, Texas, and plans to roll them out to more of its stores next year, according to a company announcement.
- H-E-B Brand Shops include apparel, accessories, drinkware, toys and other items with the grocer’s logo and various slogans. There’s “I Love My H-E-B” socks, “H-E-Baby” onesies and stickers that promote the chain’s queso dip.
- The Texas grocer is following in the footsteps of other storied grocery and convenience store brands that are capitalizing on their iconic brands and loyal consumer followings with merchandise shops.
There aren’t many grocers that can get customers excited about socks that sport their company logo on them. But H-E-B, which has a very loyal fan base in the Lone Star State, is one of the few that probably can.
The Texas grocer will sell socks along with other apparel as well as home goods, stickers, beer coozies, water bottles, hats, holiday ornaments and more inside its H-E-B Brand Shops, which appear as special fixtures inside stores. The shops will carry close to 60 items in all, including items that feature the grocer’s sub-brands like H-E-B Bakery and Café Ole by H-E-B.
The first brand shop opening in Kerrville is symbolic for H-E-B, as that’s the town where the grocer was founded 117 years ago. Over the course of 2023, the company will bring its brand shops to stores in every region where it operates.
Items at the Kerrville store are currently available for home delivery as well as curbside pickup, and shoppers can browse the full selection on H-E-B’s site and mobile app.
H-E-B isn’t the only retailer that’s launching branded merchandise. In 2019, Publix launched an online store, Fresh Goods, that sells apparel, toys, home goods and more. There’s a hoodie that celebrates the chain’s chicken tender sub sandwich, dish towels and scented candles. Naturally, there are also Publix-branded socks.
Earlier this year, Instacart unveiled a bundle of branded merchandise in collaboration with designer Anwar Carrots. Convenience store chains are also cashing in on the trend. 7-Eleven recently opened an online merchandise store with products that celebrate the c-store brand along with its well-known products like Big Gulp and Slurpee. Wawa and Circle K also offer merchandise that celebrates and promotes their brands.
On Cyber Monday, Northeastern c-store chain Stewart’s Shops will open an online store that sells branded apparel and other nonfood items along with some grocery items like coffee. The collection includes branded socks, of course.