How Texas-Based H-E-B Prepared for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Update: March 30, 2020

When grocery stores started to panic last month when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the states, Texas-based H-E-B was cool as a cucumber. According to Texas Monthly, the company was the frontrunner in limiting the amounts of products customers could purchase, implemented limits on its store hours and on March 16th, gave all of its employees a raise.

The piece is worth the read. In fact, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted that H-E-B's efforts gave him hope. San Antonio state Rep. Diego Bernal tweeted, "HEB for President".

H-E-B has been preparing for an emergency since 2005 when there was the threat of H5N1 in China, according to Justen Noakes, director of emergency preparedness at H-E-B. The store used its emergency plan in 2009 during the Swine Flu. According to Noakes, the store started to prepare during the second week in January, after "Wuhan's Municipal Health Commission announced that the novel coronavirus was spreading via human-to-human transmission."

Thank you H-E-B.

Update: March 23, 2020

H-E-B is pushing out a new 'Senior Support Line,' which will support older customers during the pandemic. Seniors across Texas, age 60 and older, will be able to place orders with Favor using a curated list of products available from H-E-B. Customers can call the hotline 1-833-397-0080 to be connected with a personal shopper who will shop and deliver goods within a few hours.

This new system allows the vulnerable population to stay home and away from people. H-E-B also shared that this is "the safest, healthiest solutions in the marketplace dedicated to seniors who are worried about going out in public," compared to dedicated senior shopping hours.

Update: March 20, 2020

To help employees, H-E-B is giving out "Texas Proud Pay" raises to all its hourly store, manufacturing, warehouse and transportation employees amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

The raise is to "recognize their hard work and thank them for their commitment as they help serve our customers and communities."

The original article continues below:

With a move to help the Texas community, H-E-B stores are shortening their store hours company-wide until further notice according to a press release published by the brand. To better serve customers and increase product availability during the coronavirus outbreak, "all H-E-B stores and Central Market open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. until further notice. This also includes Joe V's and Mi Tienda locations."

This temporary change in store hours will give our partners extra time to work diligently overnight to better stock our shelves, allowing us to better serve our customers.

Government officials like Gov. Greg Abbott and President Trump are urging residents to stop panic buying and hoarding groceries to prepare for COVID-19. H-E-B shared in a statement that it is constantly restocking products to replace the empty shelves. The stores still have product limits on certain items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and waters.

H-E-B Pharmacies Change Hours Due to Coronavirus

To better serve customers, H-E-B is altering pharmacy hours of most stores. Operating hours will now be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. All stores will follow there normal weekend hours.

The following stores will still be following their normal hours:

Falfurrias: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Aransas Pass: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Gatesville: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Port Lavaca - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mexia - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Pearsall - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
San Antonio MARC (8300 Floyd Curl Dr.) - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Carrizo Springs - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Odessa (540 W. 5th) - 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
San Antonio Specialty - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wimberley - 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Restaurant Operations

All True Texas BBQ, Flaming Bird, South Flo Pizza, Table 620, 3009, Oaks Crossing and The Roastery Meyerland location will be closed until further notice. The grocery store will still be open with reduced hours.

With coronavirus concerns growing daily, H-E-B is looking to help out Texans by offering free next-day curbside pick-up. Check out the H-E-B website for more information.

Watch: The Magic Time Machine Is a Wild Texas Experience

oembed rumble video here