|Typical Weekly H.E.B. Ad Circular|
One reader felt it was simply company policy to entice shoppers into the store with ads, then charge them regular price:
"Those examples are not exclusive to Brownsville , unfortunately . The same stunt is consistently pulled over at the Port Isabel store. I have to believe it's company culture , that's how they train their meat market personnel."
"I experienced this stunt, during the Christmas holidays, at Paredes Line H. E. B. I had to ask the meat market worker about the ad and he brought one from the back freezer."
A big factor in such a careless attitude toward the consumer by local H.E.B. Stores is the product of having no competition. H.E.B. is practically the only game in town in terms of a full service grocer, although Walmart, a discount general merchandise outlet, now carries groceries.
Just yesterday, I stopped at the H.E.B. Store on Central Boulevard, mainly to pick up their meat feature for grilling. Not seeing one of their front page feature meat items on display, I asked a clerk to direct me to the item.
"Oh, we have these," she said, pointing to the same item priced much higher than the ad promised. "What you're asking about, the family pack. We didn't get any of those in."
Of course, that means none were ordered to support the ad.
"How many pounds do you need?" she volunteered. "I will go back and reprice them for you." This is the same experience I've encountered again and again at this and other H.E.B. Stores in the city.
In larger cities across the country, it's not unusual to have three or four large, full-service supermarkets clustered together in a single neighborhood. Not in Brownsville, though. Kroger, Albertson's and a host of smaller, local food stores including Minimax, El Centro, King Mart, Villa Verde, Glen's Supermarket and Pace Grocery have either closed or simply left town. Lopez, A.V. Lopez and El Globo, not competitive with H.E.B. or Walmart in terms of price or selection serve smaller neighborhoods. Fed-Mart, the discount store originally located where the H.E.B. on Central is now, found trucking merchandise from San Diego too costly for the store to be profitable. Fed-Mart has since morphed into Price Club.
This near monopoly of the local grocery business has to be a factor in H.E.B.'s irresponsibility as to honoring their advertising, but it shows great disrespect for the customers and disregard for honest business practices to continue the practice.