STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — When the new H-E-B throws open its doors Feb. 9, shoppers will not only find more space but a department for all your Highland Lakes needs as well as Curbside Service and a much larger selection for wine lovers.
Those are just a few of the unique services the new store, 1503 RR 1431 in Marble Falls, will offer customers starting at 6 a.m. Friday. The old store is scheduled to be closed at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Crews broke ground on the new H-E-B in April 2017 and built a store that covers 111,000 square feet, an increase of 35,000 square feet over the old store next door.
In celebration of the new store, the first 100 customers through the doors Friday will get re-useable grocery store bags. Throughout the weekend, shoppers will receive complimentary food samples and slices of cake.
To cater to Highland Lakes residents and visitors, the new store will feature a Lake Gear department devoted to serving the needs of boaters, swimmers, paddleboarders, and sunbathers. Shoppers will find sunglasses, sunscreen, coolers, and other items needed for a weekend on the lake.
“(The Lake Gear department is) fun, newer, and unique,” said Tamra K. Jones, the Texas grocery store chain’s public affairs manager. “If you go to the Cedar Park stores or the Bee Caves store, you won’t see this particular department.”
The new store’s wine department is the second-largest of the Central Texas H-E-Bs, Jones said, adding only the Hutto store has one larger.
Curbside Service is new to Marble Falls. Shoppers can go online, fill out a profile, select the items they need, and pay. They can even choose what time they’ll pick up their groceries for greater convenience. Then, they park in a designated spot at the store, send a text, and an employee will come out with their shopping to load up the customer’s vehicle.
Once a Curbside Service profile is completed, the shopper’s selections will be remembered to make it faster for the next trip. Curbside Service includes an extra fee, but Jones said there’s a good reason for that.
“We have our Partners (employees) trained to select the freshest items on the shelves,” she said.
The new H-E-B will also have a Primo Picks department as well as a Meal Simple department offering pre-made meals, either ready to eat or only needing to be warmed up.
“They’re very easy to make,” Jones said. “We have lots of varieties. These meals are easy to take home.”
Customers will also discover a wider selection of organic items as well as a drive-through pharmacy.
Most departments at the new store will be larger than the ones at the old store.
And, H-E-B will have more employees to help cover the 111,000-square-foot facility.
“It’s a long-deserved and awaited new store,” Jones added. “We’re going to have some fun with it.”
Construction isn’t done once the new store opens. The old H-E-B will have to be torn down to make room for more parking and the new fuel station. That work should begin in May with projected completion in September.