H-E-B to evaluate area sites for Central Market expansion

SMU Marketing Professor Ed Cox provided expertise for this story about Central Market expansion.

By Andrea Ahles 

Fort Worth-area foodies wanting to shop at an H-E-B grocery store may have to wait a little longer.

Although the San Antonio-based chain announced Monday it has purchased six properties in North Texas from Sun Fresh Markets, including a former Tom Thumb store in Grapevine, the company said it is “evaluating the feasibility of each site” for its Central Market brand and not its flagship H-E-B chain. . . 

Since the Sun Fresh deal is only for a few properties, H-E-B may plan to test different formats in the Metroplex instead of expanding its H-E-B flag, said Ed Fox, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

“If they are going to come to DFW, they aren’t going to come in with three or four stores,” Fox said. “They will open twenty stores and have a major distribution center.”

Central Market, which opened in Fort Worth 15 years ago, has been very successful in North Texas, Fox said. A few years ago, H-E-B opened a smaller Central Market store near SMU that executives are considering for other urban neighborhoods.

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