H-E-B remodels to better serve the community

Water%2C+charcoal+lighters%2C+coolers%2C+alcoholic+beverages+and+a+barbecue+pit%2C+moved+from+individual+aisles+to+the+front+of+the+store+due+to+remodeling%2C+sit+on+sale+May+27+in+HEB+at+641+E+Hopkins+St.
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H-E-B remodels to better serve the community

Water, charcoal lighters, coolers, alcoholic beverages and a barbecue pit, moved from individual aisles to the front of the store due to remodeling, sit on sale May 27 in HEB at 641 E Hopkins St.

Water, charcoal lighters, coolers, alcoholic beverages and a barbecue pit, moved from individual aisles to the front of the store due to remodeling, sit on sale May 27 in HEB at 641 E Hopkins St.

Jaden Edison

Water, charcoal lighters, coolers, alcoholic beverages and a barbecue pit, moved from individual aisles to the front of the store due to remodeling, sit on sale May 27 in HEB at 641 E Hopkins St.

Jaden Edison

Jaden Edison

Water, charcoal lighters, coolers, alcoholic beverages and a barbecue pit, moved from individual aisles to the front of the store due to remodeling, sit on sale May 27 in HEB at 641 E Hopkins St.

Chase Rogers, News Reporter

The H-E-B at 641 East Hopkins St. is undergoing a wall-to-wall remodeling project to expand on its selection and departments and is poised to better serve the San Marcos community and Texas State students by August 2019.

While remaining open for customers, improvements are ongoing in several sections of the store, including the beer and wine department, the in-store restaurant, the sushi bar, the ready-meal section and the front-end self-checkout.

The remodel appears in three phases, starting with a focus on the check-out experience for customers. Phase two consists of improving center store and product selection, and phase three seeks to expand the store’s Meal Simple and sushi section while giving the Flaming Bird, the in-store restaurant, a Texas State-themed facelift.

Phase one has been completed and is expected to have a resounding impact on customers. Additional self-checkout stands have been installed, with a total of 10 registers, to aid in wait times at checkout. Additionally, these registers have been placed closer to the center exit of the store.

Bruce Schneider, 46-year H-E-B partner and 17-year top store leader for the San Marcos location, categorizes this change as a means to help customers get in-and-out of the store in a manner they prefer.

“We’ve found some customers really like to get in and out by themselves to avoid waiting in line,” Schneider said. “The fastest way out for customers is self-checkout.”

Phase two is currently underway, focusing on the center store and overall product selection. Particular categories of popular items, such as sparkling waters, salty snacks and alcohol sections will be given more shelf space within the store, subsequently adding to the variety and quantity of product the store offers.

Sarah Longoria, 19-year H-E-B partner who serves as the location’s center store leader, explained the wide scope of the remodel in terms of expansions in popular sections.

“(We are) expanding in our frozen meals, snacks, ice cream, beer and wine – a lot of really cool things are coming to beer and wine,” Longoria said. “It’ll be really cool when it is all done and it’s going to be awesome to see our customers get excited about it.”

Significant additions of phase two will be dedicated to the beer and wine department, where an additional aisle will be added to house an extensive assortment of beverages never before seen at the location. New beer and wine releases and event details can be found on the San Marcos beer and wine department’s Instagram page.

Phase three will begin in July, with planned improvements to Flaming Bird, the sushi bar and the Meal Simple section. The Meal Simple and sushi areas will be moved within close proximity to Flaming Bird – creating a one-stop section for most of H-E-B’s grab-and-go options.

The Flaming Bird will get a Texas State-inspired cosmetic makeover, including the signature maroon and gold colors, Bobcat logo and more. The modifications are meant to resemble a Texas A&M themed in-store restaurant at a recently built H-E-B in College Station, Texas.

Meal Simple has been a top-selling product line for H-E-B and has proven especially attractive to time-constrained Texas State students.

Gerald Madden, 26-year H-E-B partner and the store’s perishable leader, said the expansion will be great for the already substantial selection.

“(The remodel) is going to increase our Meal Simple variety three-fold,” Madden said. “Some stores, like the H-E-B in Kyle, have already had this done and it’s been awesome for them. Now we will be able to offer it to our customers.”

The upcoming revamp has worked to excite Texas State students like Avery Hall, accounting senior, who expressed her love for H-E-B’s Meal Simple line.

“I have seen the (various) other stores have, and I can’t wait for them to be offered at my H-E-B,” Hall said. “Meal Simples help me every day to eat healthier and save time.”

Given certain sections and products will be relocated to different parts of the store, H-E-B partners wearing bright-orange “Ask Me” shirts have been stationed throughout the floor to aid in locating products for customers while the remodel is ongoing.

“As a store leadership team and partners within the store, we are working really hard to make sure our customers are having a pleasant shopping experience – even during (the remodel),” Longoria said. “It’ll be over before we all know it, and it’ll be awesome when it’s done.”

According to Schneider, the remodel serves as an opportunity for H-E-B to better serve the San Marcos community, and he is excited for the surprise he hopes customers feel when they peruse the finished product in August.

“I am most excited about bringing in new items and concepts for our customers so they can find everything they are looking for – and everything they didn’t know they were looking for,” Schneider said. “That surprise – the ‘Wow, we can get this here now,’ that’s what we hope for.”

The remodel is set to be completed by the third week of August 2019, when Texas State students return for the fall semester.