Just 11 years after opening its first Mexican supermarket, H-E-B controls 29 percent of the northeastern Mexico market, according to numbers provided by the company.
H-E-B has 19 stores in Monterrey and another 10 stores in cities like Saltillo, Torreón and San Luis Potosí, as well as border towns like Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa.
As a consumer I loved HEB when I lived in Texas -- great selection and quality, competitive prices, and outstanding service. What else do you need. I also consistently see them at the top of vendor listing of the best retailers to work with.
I'm curious, though, whether any other American grocers are expanding into Mexico. I know Wal-Mart is -- but any others? If anybody can make a success of such an operation, I'd be inclined to think it's HEB.
Plans are in the works to open another four stores over the next 10 months: two more in Monterrey as well as the chain's first store in Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass, and a first of its kind discount store in Rio Bravo, in the border state of Tamaulipas.
Industry analysts and company officials say H-E-B, which was founded more than 100 years ago in Kerrville, has managed to export not just its stores, but also a fierce brand loyalty. Many of its northern Mexico shoppers have deep ties to Texas and had shopped in H E-B before the chain expanded in Mexico.