REGIONAL Stores adapt to competition, customer demands News from around the metro
The Food Industry Association published a 2022 study of 2021 national grocery store trends, offering insight into how stores operate and how consumers act. national trends For customers
Felker said. “So it is an economic development tool.” Luring workers The Frisco H-E-B location is the first of five in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that are planned to open in the com- ing year. A Plano store opened Nov. 2, a location in McKinney is scheduled to open in summer 2023, and a loca- tion in the Alliance area will open in 2024. Each store will employ more than 700 positions with pay starting at $15 an hour, Jackson said. Meanwhile, Kroger and Walmart officials announced new hiring initia- tives in September. Kroger’s starting pay is $11.50 an hour and Walmart’s is $13 an hour. Both companies said they hope to compete for employees in ways besides pay. John Votava, director of corporate affairs for Kroger, said the company’s benefits and retirement pension make it an attractive option for potential employees. Kroger’s college tuition reimbursement plans are another benefit, he said. Degree programs and 401(k) matches are also incentives Walmart offers to employees, Walmart Com- munications Director Lauren Willis said. “In the Frisco area, you have stores here that really wanted to be competitive
and implemented hiring initiatives. Over the past year, Walmart, too, has completed store renovations— including renovations in Lewisville, Highland Village and Flower Mound— and expanded its subscription service. Local Target and Tom Thumb stores have also undergone renovations. Capitalizing on growth As H-E-B staff considered where to expand, they looked at the growth occurring in Collin and Denton coun- ties, said Mabrie Jackson, senior director of Public Affairs for H-E-B. “As we think about the future of our business and position ourselves for success, we look at several decid- ing factors, such as market demand, strong population growth and real estate,” she said in an email. Between the 2010 census and the 2020 census, Frisco’s population increased more than 71%. H-E-B saw a chance to move into a strong business environment, Felker said. With developments, such as the new headquarters of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America and the mixed-use development fields that will bring in more than 3,500 homes, opening an H-E-B in Frisco presented a “win-win” situation for the city and the grocer, he said. “I think H-E-B looked at that and said, ‘Let’s capitalize,’” Felker said. With people likely driving from neighboring communities to visit the newest grocery offering, H-E-B is also serving to bring in outside tax dollars to Frisco—a phenomenon Felker said will likely continue. “I bet anything that you got people coming down here from Oklahoma,”
BY COLBY FARR & MIRANDA JAIMES
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is seeing a shake-up of its grocery store offer- ings as new brands open and grocers adapt to changing shopping habits and work to attract employees in a post-pandemic market. H-E-B’s expansion into Frisco and surrounding cities along with an October announcement of a merger between two other major players, Kroger and Albertsons, are just the most recent of changes. Other stores across the city have also undertaken major remodeling projects and upped efforts to recruit workers. “Competition is good in a free and open and growing market,” said Tony Felker, president and CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. “Com- petition is good in terms of bringing prices down, increasing selections [and] increasing innovation, making certain that competition drives good innovation and even renovation in stores.” H-E-B’s first Dallas-area location opened in Frisco on Sept. 21 to lines of eager customers. The 118,000-square- foot store includes a full-service phar- macy with a drive-thru, an outdoor essentials department and a True Texas BBQ restaurant. Meanwhile, Kroger and Albert- sons officials on Oct. 14 confirmed a merger in which Kroger will acquire all of the shares of stock and proper- ties of Albertsons for $24.6 billion by 2024, according to a news release. This includes Dallas-area affiliate stores Tom Thumb and Market Street. Kroger in the past year has also ren- ovated local stores, opened an auto- mated fulfillment center in Dallas
91% of retailers sell groceries online 79% of retailers offer curbside pickup 55% of retailers offer home delivery of online orders
63% of retailers offer bonuses 86% of retailers offered higher wages in 2021 72% offered improved benefits in 2021
“COMPETITION IS GOOD IN A FREE AND OPEN AND GROWING MARKET.” TONY FELKER, FRISCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT AND CEO
against H-E-B when they opened, and one thing that we really have focused on is the associate expe- rience,” said Rissa Pittman, a Walmart market manager.
SOURCE: FOOD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION/ COMMUNITY IMPACT
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FLOWER MOUND - HIGHLAND VILLAGE - ARGYLE EDITION • DECEMBER 2022
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