H-E-B provides in-store mobile access to pet services

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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H-E-B is partnering with digital home management platform Thumbtack.

H-E-B is providing a digital home management platform with its first presence in physical retail.

The San Antonio, Texas-based regional grocery retailer is rolling out branded displays from Thumbtack, which provides homeowners digital access to home service providers, in more than 300 of its Texas-based stores. The displays enable H-E-B customers to scan a QR code to find and hire local pet service providers while shopping.

Pet services available through the H-E-B-Thumbtack integration include dog walking, grooming, pet sitting, and training. This is Thumbtack’s first move into physical retail, and the platform plans to further expand its physical footprint in the year ahead.

In addition to offering pet services via H-E-B displays, Thumbtack is also offering its Thumbtack On-Demand feature in select H-E-B stores. This feature allows consumers to find and hire local handyman, lawn care and cleaning services at a 10% discount. Thumbtack plans to expand its physical footprint in the year ahead, kicking off with H-E-B. 

“Thumbtack’s job is to make caring for everything in and around the home a seamless experience for the homeowner” said David Steckel, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Thumbtack. “Expanding into physical retail brings us one step closer to that by allowing us to be a partner for consumers whether they’re shopping in-store for their pets or getting their backyards ready for hosting.”

H-E-B opening multi-level store

H-E-B is experimenting with ways to expand the range of services its stores offer shoppers. In February 2023, the grocer opened a 97,000-sq.-ft. multi-level store location in Austin. The multi-level store is packed with unique features designed to make it a community gathering place, including a two-story porch with views of Lake Austin, a full bar with indoor and outdoor seating and a coffee shop serving handmade breakfast tacos.

In addition, the new H-E-B houses a True Texas BBQ restaurant (named best barbecue chain by Texas Monthly) and a SouthFlo Pizza eatery. Structured underground parking allows for a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly perimeter. The sidewalks are wide to encourage walking to the store.

A street-level landscape softens the building’s impact on the neighborhood, and with a second-level sales floor, customers have access to three elevators, open stairway, multiple escalators and cart escalators.

The largest privately held employer in Texas, H-E-B has more than 430 stores and 154,000 employees in Texas and Mexico. The company operates Central Market stores throughout Texas, as well as Joe V’s Smart Shop and Mi Tienda store formats in Houston.