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No Store Did More: How H-E-B Became
a Model of Emergency Preparedness

Original Article

Posted By: StormCnter, 7/29/2020 8:15:58 AM

Back on February 2, the first coronavirus death outside China was reported in the Philippines. That same day, Donald Trump appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News to say that the United States had “pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” And in San Antonio, Justen Noakes, the director of emergency preparedness for H-E-B, dusted off a pandemic response plan the supermarket chain had developed more than a decade earlier. Noakes and a handful of the company’s department heads met at H-E-B’s downtown headquarters. Sitting around a conference table, the group ran a simulation, war-gaming a dire scenario: an outbreak of a deadly infectious disease in Texas.

Comments:

H-E-B is a Texas legend. We're pretty proud of that store. Unfortunately, there isn't one near me. Note: Disregard the author and date on the Outline url. I used Outline to avoid any registration requirement at TM, but sometimes Outline messes up authors and dates. This article is from the August issue.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: TXSPeach 7/29/2020 8:39:03 AM (No. 493588)
I love my H-E-B.
4 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: Sorosisbehindit 7/29/2020 8:57:28 AM (No. 493615)
This Texan who moved to Louisiana misses HEB...and business managers who can reason.
0 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: MDConservative 7/29/2020 9:18:34 AM (No. 493632)
As a newcomer to Texas, I will confirm the above high praise for H-E-B. Prices are fair. Service is excellent. And of all the stores around, H-E-B can move customers effectively through the check-out process despite "social distancing" and the rest. And no cards to scan for discounts. They are the best anywhere in my experience.
4 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: cactusmike 7/29/2020 9:40:25 AM (No. 493664)
Lived here 45 years. Hill country. HEB would be right at home in the old USSR. They have stocked all their shelves with their own brands. Hard to get name brand products. Now they have run up the prices big time. They run all competitors out. Except Walmart. They have a real monopoly. Play the hometown card with skill. All this was going on pre-Wuhan. Try shopping there now. Look at how rich old mr. Butt is.
1 person likes this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: felixcat 7/29/2020 9:45:44 AM (No. 493674)
When I last lived in Texas (circa 1992), on the border, came to know and love the local HEB store.
0 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: mamateach 7/29/2020 10:16:13 AM (No. 493715)
Arrived back in Texas in early March. Stocked up on all supplies at HEB and Kroger. Lived across the street from HEB on Riverside during my UT days in the 70’s. Couldn’t afford to shop there at the time, but it was an upscale store for student apartment dwelllers. Love love HEB and my Texas Monthly subscription!!!
1 person likes this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Tallgrass Palms 7/29/2020 10:19:14 AM (No. 493722)
It is "President" Donald Trump.
2 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: thelmalou 7/29/2020 10:27:44 AM (No. 493745)
Great story. I love to see smart, well-run companies!
1 person likes this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: hurricanegirl 7/29/2020 10:54:52 AM (No. 493789)
Are they still forcing you to stand outside and attacking you if you don't follow their stupid rules? No, thanks. I'll go to a grocery store where freedom still rings!
1 person likes this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: john56 7/29/2020 11:09:41 AM (No. 493808)
Texas Monthly comes up with an occasional good article (this one), excellent BBQ reviews, and the Texanist (think Miss Manners on all things Texan). Beyond that, it's a left wing rag -- but I do read it every month. HEB is tops for grocery. They pretty well ran Kroger out of South Texas in the early 80s and scared Safeway from even opening here. They do get some competition from Walmart and a lesser extent Target and Whole Foods (Amazon seriously looked at trying to buy HEB before they settled on "Whole Paycheck."), On the edges of their competitive area (Houston, south of Dallas, west Texas) they do have more competition than San Antonio, Austin, and South Texas. But they play the big guys game better than the big guys. Low prices, great service, excellent house brands, and no "funny stuff" (ie loyalty cards, etc.). And they really had some funny commercials when they had the SA Spurs players doing them, especially during playoffs.
1 person likes this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Chiritwo 7/29/2020 11:25:05 AM (No. 493827)
Love my H-E-B here in Texas. Very well run. When there were outside lines, it didn't long to get inside. Shelves were always well stocked during the bad times.
1 person likes this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: coldborezero 7/29/2020 1:12:51 PM (No. 493920)
I like the local HEB just fine, although I think they went a little overboard on the ChiCom Virus thing. Geez, you would think it is the Andromeda Strain.
0 people like this.

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