Texas-based grocery store chain HEB isn’t sleeping on its industry’s move into digital retail, kicked into high gear by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods last year. On Wednesday, as Texas Monthly’s Carlos Sanchez reported, the chain announced that it has leased a 81,000-square-foot East Austin warehouse that it will develop into a tech center and innovation lab. The two-story industrial building, located at 2416 East Sixth Street, is close to the HEB on Seventh Street as well as to restaurants, coffee shops, residences, and other offices in the booming area.
According to the company’s website, global company IA Interior Architects will design the “creative and collaborative workspace” in the recently renovated warehouse, which will serve as headquarters for HEB’s digital team as well as for Favor, the Austin-based delivery app and service that the grocery chain acquired in February. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.
The chain has already made significant forays into the digital realm. In addition to acquiring Favor, it started and recently expanded its H-E-B Delivery and H-E-B Curbside services, and, seeing as it is hiring for various tech-related positions and plans to “add several hundred jobs to the local economy,” according to the site, it seems to be continuing down that road at full speed.
• H-E-B draws up battle plans against Amazon [Texas Monthly]
• H-E-B acquires Texas-based on-demand company Favor [TechCrunch]