Dallas Local News

H-E-B brings Houston-centric smart shop concept in Dallas metro area

Dallas, Texas – In a groundbreaking announcement made on Tuesday, renowned supermarket chain H-E-B unveiled its ambitious plan to establish two novel outlets in the city of Dallas, Texas. However, this much-anticipated expansion, albeit significant, does not include the presence of a flagship H-E-B store within the confines of the city.

The upcoming stores, slated for strategic locations in the eastern and southern quadrants of Dallas, mark a departure from the conventional retail model for the grocery giant. H-E-B will be introducing Joe V’s Smart Shop to the North Texas region, an innovative store concept designed to compete with brands like Aldi.

Joe V’s stores deviate from the traditional supermarket blueprint, carrying an inventory of fewer than 10,000 items. This offering pales in comparison to the staggering 35,000 to 40,000 items stocked in conventional supermarkets. Instead, Joe V’s retail philosophy prioritizes the most sought-after items, a concise list comprising the top 20 customer favorites.

Setting itself apart from competitors within the budget-friendly retail sector, Joe V’s provides a notable range of self-service departments, encompassing bakery, meat, and seafood offerings. The brand takes pride in stocking a broad assortment of national brands, alongside products endorsed by the H-E-B and Central Market labels.

Drawing parallels with its parent company H-E-B and Central Market, Joe V’s has pledged to offer a variety of in-house products. The company has outlined plans for in-store production of tortillas, ready meals, and sushi, providing customers with a taste of home-made freshness.

H-E-B unveiled that its first Dallas-based Joe V’s outlet is scheduled to open its doors by next summer. The location, situated at 4101 W. Wheatland Rd., sits in proximity to Highway 67. A subsequent store is planned for 5204 S. Buckner Blvd., near the intersections of Buckner and Samuell boulevards. This outlet is projected to commence operations in the spring of 2025. These two outlets will set a precedent as the first Joe V’s establishments to venture beyond the confines of the Houston area.

“With the introduction of Joe V’s Smart Shop to Dallas, we are excited to build on our longstanding presence in the area and commitment to serve more customers in this dynamic and growing part of Texas,” Roxanne Orsak, H-E-B chief operating officer, said in a statement. “As a multi-format retailer, we have developed a variety of brands and formats to best serve our customers across the state.”

Even though it’s not an H-E-B, Councilmember Adam Bazaldua said he’s happy something is coming to his district.

“As much as I, along with many other residents, would like to see an H‑E‑B flagship store at the Samuell/Buckner location, I am excited about the addition of any grocery store that will serve our community and combat food insecurities,” he said.

“I hope to gain more knowledge of their Joe V’s store model while visiting a location next week in Houston and look forward to working with the company through the process over the next couple of years.”

The imminent introduction of a Joe V’s Smart Shop at the Wheatland location is set to shake up the retail landscape, which currently features prominent brands such as WinCo Foods, Aldi, Tom Thumb, Kroger, Target, and Walmart—all within a five-mile radius.

This new store will also rival an upcoming Tom Thumb outlet slated for a 2025 opening within the RedBird mall premises. This development was given the green light in April when the Dallas City Council approved nearly $6 million in incentives to lure Tom Thumb into the area.

Likewise, the proposed Buckner branch is likely to face stiff competition, with a Walmart Supercenter already firmly established in the vicinity. Additionally, it lies a mere four miles away from existing Tom Thumb and Albertsons stores.

However, it’s important to note that most neighborhoods closest to these proposed retail sites remain a minimum 15-minute drive away, underscoring the need for more conveniently located grocery stores. This expansion will enable local communities to access healthy, fresh food with relative ease.

Utilizing data from the Child Poverty Action Lab’s resource explorer, we find that in the vicinity of the forthcoming Buckner Joe V’s outlet, there are approximately 0.7 to 0.75 grocery stores per 10,000 residents. Meanwhile, the area designated for the Wheatland store boasts a slightly higher ratio of 0.74 stores per 10,000 inhabitants. In contrast, affluent neighborhoods such as Preston Hollow maintain an average of over two grocery stores per 10,000 residents, while Lakewood and Bishop Arts hover around 1.45 and 1.31 stores respectively.

The benefits of these new stores extend beyond merely enhancing the accessibility of fresh produce. They also promise to stimulate the local job market. H-E-B states that a typical Joe V’s store, measuring approximately 55,000 square feet, employs an average of 150 individuals—further testament to the positive economic impact of these impending developments.

Maria Halkias, a correspondent for the Dallas Morning News, highlights that H-E-B is foreseeing some resistance regarding its choice to introduce Joe V’s outlets rather than traditional H-E-B stores to the two Dallas communities.

“Joe V’s stores were created for neighborhoods that are densely populated but aren’t growing,” Orsak told Halkias. “That’s very different from any other retailer, but we can make it work. For an H-E-B store, we need a lot of growth in population.”

Sarah Smith

What sets Sarah apart from other journalists is her ability to make complex issues accessible to a wider audience. She has a talent for breaking down complicated topics and presenting them in a way that is both engaging and informative. In her spare time, Sarah can be found exploring the city, seeking out new stories and experiences to write about. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for capturing the essence of a moment in words.

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