Scott Ball / Rivard Report
H-E-B has launched one-hour beer and wine delivery in San Antonio in the company's latest move to compete with Amazon and other high-tech delivery services.
H-E-B began offering the free delivery service Friday through Favor, an on-demand delivery company the grocer acquired earlier this year. Favor's beer and wine delivery are free during the initial rollout ending on Labor Day, Sept. 3. The service launched Friday in the metropolitan areas of San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, and Houston and will eventually expand to more than 30 Texas cities.
The Texas grocer's near-monopoly in Central and South Texas could face a challenge from Amazon.com as the online retail giant expands its suite of grocery options in light of its 2017 acquisition of Austin-based Whole Foods.
Former Amazon executive Brittain Ladd actually pitched the online retail giant on acquiring H-E-B before the company landed on buying Whole Foods, according to a 2016 paper he published on Linkedin. Ladd has predicted Amazon will beat out Walmart and Kroger by 2030 to become the largest grocery retailer in the United States.
Amazon in June began offering one- and two-hour beer and wine delivery to San Antonians through its Prime Now app, which is available to Amazon's Prime subscribers.
“This new service truly delivers the best customer experience – a fast, convenient solution with the best selection at the everyday low price our customers expect,” said Martin Otto, H-E-B chief operating officer, in a press release. “H-E-B and Favor joined forces to support and accelerate our collective growth throughout Texas, and this is only the beginning of what’s to come from our powerful partnership.”
Customers with iOS or Android devices can download the Favor app and order beer or wine. Delivery services also are available on desktop and other devices at www.favordelivery.com.
All of H-E-B's beer and wine selection is available through Favor delivery at store price and with no order minimum. Favor deliveries require a minimum $2 tip for Runners, Favor's delivery employees.
Craft brewers, such as Alamo Beer Company, Busted Sandal Brewing Company, and Freetail Brewing Co., and wines from the Texas Hill Country are among the local options.
In addition to its Favor service, same-day delivery also is available from H-E-B stores in Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio through third-party partnerships with Shipt and Instacart.
Other technology-powered services at H-E-B include its HEBtoyou Delivery and Curbside. The former is the company's in-house delivery service, and the latter allows customers to order ahead and pick up their groceries at an H-E-B store.
Alcohol is not being delivered through its in-house delivery, however, and neither of those services offers groceries within an hour.
Beer and wine delivery are available in San Antonio Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.