- H-E-B opened its largest e-commerce fulfillment center to date in Katy, Texas, as it continues to expand its omnichannel network, according to a Wednesday press release.
- At 100,000 square feet, the newest facility is nearly double the size of previously opened ones and will support the grocer's curbside and home delivery offerings in the Houston area.
- H-E-B now operates seven e-commerce fulfillment centers since debuting its first in 2018 and plans to open more facilities throughout its home state.
While dedicated e-commerce facilities have fallen out of favor with grocers like Giant Food as online sales have moderated over the past year or two, H-E-B is pressing ahead with this strategy to meet demand in major markets.
The Katy facility is the Texas grocer’s first stand-alone e-commerce fulfillment location, per the announcement, and will stock products found in stores to satisfy curbside and home delivery orders.
H-E-B’s e-commerce facilities “allow for more capacity, greater efficiency, less aisle congestion for the in-store shopper, and better product availability,” the grocer stated, adding the centers also bolster productivity through automation.
The grocer credits these facilities for the growth of its curbside and home delivery services, which are currently available at more than 270 H-E-B stores.
H-E-B is currently hiring for part- and full-time positions at the Katy e-commerce fulfillment center and will employ more than 300 individuals as part of the e-commerce team, the announcement noted.
Dedicated e-commerce facilities can help meet high consumer demand and take the pressure off stores to fulfill orders, but retailers have lately focused more on store-based fulfillment as e-commerce demand has moderated. In late August, Giant Food confirmed plans to shut down three dedicated e-commerce centers it had recently opened, while Walmart has centered its e-commerce fulfillment strategy on its stores.
H-E-B debuted another e-commerce fulfillment center attached to a store in Plano, Texas, in late June, supporting store locations throughout the region, including ones in Frisco, McKinney and Allen. The 55,000-square-foot facility employed 125 workers at the time of its opening.
In September 2020, H-E-B opened a micro-fulfillment center in partnership with Swiss warehouse automation company Swisslog to help serve the company’s e-commerce services.