HEB's New Alon Market a Hybrid that Localizes Merchandising

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HEB's New Alon Market a Hybrid that Localizes Merchandising

HEB opened a new mega store in San Antonio, Texas on Friday that combines attributes of its upscale Central Market format and its big-box HEB Plus stores-and by offering the largest selection of kosher foods in town, tailors its assortment to the immediate trade area's demographics.

The neighborhood surrounding the new 128,000 square foot store, called HEB Alon Market, is affluent, with an average household income of $90,000. It sits across from the Jewish Community Center. HEB considered items requested by members of the Jewish Community Center when planning the store.

Alon, which means oak in Hebrew, is described as a "destination store" that will draw members of the Jewish community over long distances.

HEB has stocked the new market with 400 varieties of cheese, a sushi kiosk, imported beers, and a produce department with more than 900 fruit and vegetable varieties.

The San Antonio-based chain closed two nearby HEB stores prior to the new store's opening. HEB Alon employs 375, including some from the two closed stores.

The new store is also under review to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified. It uses lights that have an estimated life of 20 years. Another unique feature: the store's freezer cases light up only when customers pass by.