H-E-B has been the most popular grocery store chain in Texas for many years, and in 2004 the company launched H-E-B Plus, a larger version of the store with expanded categories. While both H-E-B stores sell similar brands and items, there are many differences in what the stores carry.
H-E-B stores sell grocery items, including Bakery, Deli/Food Service, Meat, Seafood, Produce, Floral, and Pharmacy. H-E-B Plus stores carry these same grocery items but also sell general merchandise such as furniture, home and beauty products, housewares, toys, and entertainment sections.
This article will further explain what types of items you can find in an H-E-B grocery store compared to an H-E-B Plus store. I’ll also give you an in-depth explanation as to why there are two different versions, and how to decide which one is the best fit for your shopping needs. Keep reading to learn more!
H-E-B vs. H-E-B Plus Differences
Here is a list of services and sections found in both stores and a list of those found in H-E-B Plus only:
|H-E-B and H-E-B Plus
|H-E-B Plus Only
Let’s take a closer look at the similarities and differences between each store:
What H-E-B and H-E-B Plus Have in Common
You can find grocery items and related services in both kinds of H-E-B stores. Because of the region and proximity to Mexico, some H-E-B and H-E-B Plus locations will have specialty meats and items that others don’t. So if there is a specific ethnic item you are looking for, you will have to check the individual store itself for it.
However, overall, all stores carry the same basic items when it comes to groceries, produce, bakery, and meats.
They both offer curbside service and online delivery as well, in addition to self-checkout and in-store dining. You can also search store maps and inventories for both in the H-E-B app for your smartphone, making shopping much more convenient.
What H-E-B Plus Has That H-E-B Doesn’t
H-E-B Plus has an apparel section for various brands of clothing and furniture and outdoor entertainment sections. A store brand within the outdoor entertainment section called Kodi sells:
- Other accessories for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities
H-E-B Plus also sells:
- Baby and kids products
- Phone accessories
- Video games
- Smart home products
Some H-E-B Plus locations also have a store format called Mia’s Mirror that sells fashion items and accessories. You’ll have to check which ones have those formats beforehand. You can easily do that by visiting the individual store’s website.
Because of the expanded item selection, H-E-B Plus stores are also 20% larger in size and layout than regular H-E-B grocery stores. Of the roughly 400 H-E-B locations in Texas and Mexico, nearly 40 of them are H-E-B Plus stores. As more and more people use these stories, it’s likely that more traditional H-E-B stores will undergo remodeling to become H-E-B Plus stores.
Why Are There Two Different H-E-B Stores in the First Place?
There are two H-E-B stores because H-E-B wanted to take advantage of the “superstore” expansion boom that spurred many other retail chains to launch new stores.
Because H-E-B is privately owned and regional to the state of Texas and some parts of Mexico, the company is actively competing with others like Walmart to give you more options on where to buy all the items you want or need.
To compete with more extensive retail chains, H-E-B Plus gives you the option of shopping for grocery and department store items in the same location. This option allows you to avoid shopping for groceries at a regular H-E-B store and then going to a Walmart or other retail center for department store items.
Which H-E-B Store Should I Shop At?
If you are only grocery shopping for food items and perishables, you can shop at a regular H-E-B market. Still, if you need groceries and other non-food items like clothing, electronics, or outdoor accessories, you will want to shop at H-E-B Plus instead.
H-E-B grocery stores have been in Texas for over 100 years and are still one of the best options for grocery shopping. With curbside service, online delivery, and a store app for your cell, it’s a convenient place to shop.
H-E-B Plus stores are still pretty newish and part of the superstore boom for people who need more than grocery shopping but don’t want to visit several different stores. You’ll still get all the grocery, service, pharmacy, and convenience as at a regular H-E-B grocery store, but it’s more of a “one stop shop,” much like a Walmart Supercenter.