It was about 7:45 on Wednesday morning when Laura Salinas rolled up and parked on the side of the H-E-B in Alice.
She texted the store with her parking slot number and in just a few minutes, her groceries were being wheeled out to her.
Delivering her short list of groceries was Alice H-E-B Top Store Leader Shelia Poorman and every one of the store’s managers. Aside from her groceries, they gave her a gift basket and some cookies. It won’t be this way for everyone, but as the store’s first customer to use its new Curbside service, the management team wanted to celebrate the occasion.
Salinas’ grocery list included only four items. However, it is the convenience of the set up which piqued her interest.
“This something very exciting,” she said after her grocery bags were loaded in her truck. “For people at home with small children and a million things to do, this is just something that will save a lot of time.”
H-E-B began its Curbside service in Alice Wednesday, and Poorman said she expects the service to become a cornerstone of the grocery shopping experience like it has at every other H-E-B store around Texas that has begun offering Curbside.
“It’s really convenient for people to just drive up and get their things,” Poorman said. “We’ve put in a lot of work, and we’re going to continue to improve on the way we do things.”
For the service, H-E-B added a fleet of employee shoppers who fill customers online orders throughout the day. To use Curbside, customers must sign-up and log-in to the store’s website. Once on the site, customers select their items and an available time slot. At pick-up, the store has orders out to customer vehicles in about seven minutes.
Poorman said the store's shoppers have been trained on being efficient and accurate to satisfy customers.
"We tell our shoppers to do their job as if they're shopping for themselves," she said. "One of the things we hear is about ordering produce online and how we make sure we're picking what the customers want. Of course, all of our produce is fresh, but we've trained customers on how to select the best produce."
Prices for some items vary and there is a $4.95 fee. H-E-B has different promotions throughout the year where user fees are waived.