It’s no secret that H-E-B and its upscale counterpart Central Market are among Texas’ favorite places to shop. Now the San Antonio-based company is moving further into the digital realm with a new Austin tech hub designed to foster innovation.
On September 5, the grocery giant announced plans for a new tech center at 2416 E. Sixth St. The new hub will be a headquarters for H-E-B’s digital team as well as Favor, the popular delivery service acquired by the grocery chain in February.
The building, a former industrial warehouse, will be completely renovated by IA Interior Architects to create an open, collaborative workspace. The East Austin location also offers easy access to some of Austin’s best restaurants and coffee shops.
“This state-of-the-art space will be a hub for creativity and innovation as we continue to develop the ultimate digital experience for our customers,” said H-E-B chief digital officer Jag Bath in a release. “Bringing H-E-B and Favor closer together will allow us to promote collaboration between our two companies as we strengthen our commitment to building out H-E-B’s omnichannel services.”
The new facility doesn’t just mean fancy new digs for the existing team. H-E-B says it plans to fill the 81,000-square-foot facility with several hundred new employees in both the grocery division and Favor.
The move to East Austin is part of H-E-B's effort to compete in a digital space dominated by behemoths like Amazon and Walmart. In addition to adding Favor to the family, the grocery chain has made a big investment in the H-E-B Curbside service, which debuted in November 2017. Currently available in 145 Texas locations, it is on track to expand to 165 stores by the end of the year.